Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of the crusades"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

M . / . I 

>: J • f 

.'!/ '^ \ 










V O L. I I 



1 1853. 


BOOK IX.— A.D. 1195-1198. 

Thie empire of Saladin divided among his sncoessors — ^The civil wan 
thence arising — Dynasty of the Ayoubites — Extensive empire of Afdhal, 
son of Saladin — His civil contests — Alaziz, saltan of Egypt, takes arms 
against his brother — ^azr-ADah, vizier of the sultan Afdhal — Malek- 
Adel— Civil commotions of Palesline^^Agitated state of the Christian 
colonies — Bohemond III. governor of Antioch, taken prisoner — Hospi- 
tallers and Templars — Pope Celestine III. instigates the fourth crusade— > 
Henry VI., emperor of Germany, engages to assist — Diet of Worms — 
Hostilities at Ptolemais — Death of Henry of Champagne — Jaffa captured 
by the Mussulmans — Siege and battle of Berytus — Malek-Adel defeated 
— Fallandus, the Sicilian historian — Henry VI. of Germany conquers 
Naples and Sicily — Progress of his arms in Palestine — The Saracens 
defeated — Death of Henry VI. — Massacre of the garrison of Jaffa — St. 
Martin — Causes of the failure of this crusade, and its mischievous con- 
■equenoei — Cruel character of Henry VI pp. 1-35 

BOOK X.— A.D. 1198-120^. 

Rousseau's opinion of the Crusaders — Enthusiasm and valour of the 
Christian troops — Causes which led to the fifth crusade — Instigated by 
Pope Innocent III. — His quarrel with Philip of France — Death of 
Richard I. of England — Preaching of Fouikes in favour of the crusade 
^Thibault IV., count of Champagne, engages in the crusade— Louis, 
count of Chartres — Preaching of Martin Litz — Villehardouin, marshal 
of ChampBgne — Baldwin, count of Flanders — Commercial greatness of 
Venice — Dandolo, the doge of Venice — He engage.^ to assist the Cru- 
saders — Gauthier de Brienne — Sums advanced by Venice — Death and 
character of Thibault— Count de Bar —Death of Eude III.| duke of 


Buri^ndy— Boniface, marquis of Montferrat, elected commander of the 
crusade — Famine in Egypt and Europe — Death of Foulkes — Fecnniarj 
eiactions of Yenice — ReYolt of the dty of Zara — Dandolo's address to 
the Venetians in favour of the Crusaders — Isaac, emperor of Constan- 
tinople, dethroned— Siege of Zara— Tlie Abbot de Cernay— Quarrels, 
between the Venetians and the French Crusaders— Address of Philip of 
Swabia to the French barons — Policy of Malek-Adel— Reproaches of 
Innocent III. against the Crusaders at Zara— -Character of the emperor 
Alexius— Capture of Corfu—Conquests of the younger Alexius, son of 
Isaac — Description of Constantinople— Besieged by the Crusaders — ^The 
Varangians — Speeches of Rossi and Conon de Bethune — Capture of 
Constantinople— Alexius dethroned— Isaac and his son Alexius restored 
to the sovereignty — The Crusaders become the allies of the Greeks, and 
the protectors of the Greek empire — Their communications with the 
pope pp. 36-99. 

BOOK XI.— A.D. 1198-1204. 

Character of the Greeks — Position of Alexius the younger— His pro- 
posals to the Crusaders — Disputes between the Greeks and the Latins on 
articles of faith— Contentions with the Bulgarians — Conflagration of 
Constantinople — Imbecility and bigotry of the emperor Isaac — Statue of 
Minerva destroyed — Innurrectionsry spirit in Constantinople — Famine in 
Egypt — Contests between the Greeks and the Latins — Greek fire- 
Treachery of Mourzouffle — He murders young Alexius, and ascends the 
throne — Character of Alexius— Mouizouffle's contests with the Latins- 
Is dethroned — Death of Isaac— >Lascaris chosen emperor — Abandons the 
dty — Constantinople taken possession of, and plundered by the Latins^* 
Destruction of the works of art— Statues of Belleropbon, Hercules, and 
Helen, destroyed — Reverence for relics and images— Fanatidsm of 
Martin Litz — Frsgment of the ** true cross" — ^Virtues of Dandolo, the 
doge of Venice — Baldwin, count of Flanders, elected emperor of Con- 
stantinople — The conquered lands distributed among the Crusaders — 
Thomss Morasini elected patrisrch of Constantinople — Correspondence 
between Baldwin and the pope— Death of Marguerite of Flanders, wife of 
Baldwin — Conquests of Leo Sguerre — Michael Angclus Comnenus gains 
the kingdom of Epirus — Lascaris proclaimed emperor at Nice — Mour- 
zouffle captured and executed — Column of Theodo»iu8 — Quarrels between 
Boniface, marquis of Montferrat, and Baldwin — Boniface invades Greece 
— The Greeks rebel against the domination of the Latins — Victories of the 
Bulgarians — Defeat and Msssacre of the Latins - Bravery of Henry of 
Hainault— Incidents of Baldwin's life— Death of Dandolo — Boniface is 
slain— Characters of the Greeks and the Franks— Their different his- 
torians — Disputes respecting the sovereignty of Cyprus — Death of 
Gauthier de Brienne — Policy of Innocent III. — Knowledge of Greek 
diffused in the West — Refinement of the Venetians, and commerdsl great- 
ness of Venioe pp. 100-184. 

comrEiTTs- ▼ 

BOOK XII.— A.D. 1200-1215. 


Famine in Egypt, and its frightful cooseqnenpes^DestnictiTe earth- 
quake — Saadi, the Persian poet — Earthquake and famine in Palestine 
—Agitated state of Palestine— Death of Amaury, king of Jerusalem- 
Death of Bohemond III. — Pope Innocent III. stimulates the western 
world to the deliverance of the Holy Land — State of Palestine and 
Jerusalem — John of Brienne accepts the young queen of Jerusalem 
in marriage— Agitated state of Europe— Malek.Adel renews hostilities 
against the Christians — John of Brienne takes possession of Ptolemau — 
First dawningfl of the Reformation — ^The Albigeois, the Vaudois, and 
other reforming sects— Papal crusade against them — Spain at war with 
the Saracens and Moors — Cardinal de Cour^on preaches the crusader- 
Philip Augustus king of France, and John king of England, engage in 
the crusade — Dominant spirit and political contentions of Pope Inno- 
cent III. — Battle of Bourines — ^The pope assembles the council of 
Lateran, and stimulates all Europe to the holy war — His death and 
character — Censius Savelli chosen pope, under the title of Honorius III. 
—He urges the crusade — Andrew 11., king of Hungary, engsges in it- 
Paganism of Prussia in the thirteenth century— •Political state of Palestine 
— ^The throne of Syria abdicated by Malek-Adel — Melik-Kamel, the 
sultan of Cairo — Mount Tabor— Political state of Hungary — Her king 
returns from Palestine — ^The tower of Damietta captured by the Cru- 
saders — Death and character of Malek-Adel — Decline of the empire 
of the Ayouhites — Cardinal Pelagius instigates the prosecution of the 
crusade, and proceeds to Egypt — Panic amongst the Mohammedans— 
Conspiracy te dethrone the sultan of Cairo — Battle before the walls of 
Damietta — Piety of St. Francis-— The Mohammedans propose conditioi^ 
of peace — ^Damietta captured, and the inhabitants destroyed by famine— 
The dty assigned to John of Brienne— His speech against the inTasion of 
Egypt — Obstinacy of Cardinal Pelagius — The Mohammedans bum the 
fleet of the Crusaders on the Nile, and compel them to capitulate— Melik- 
Kamel enters into a treaty of peace, by which Damietta is surrendered to 
the Mussulmans — Death of Philip Augustus of France— John of Brienne 
rerisits Europe — Oppressions of the Christians of Palestine — The 
Georgians — Invasions of the Tartars — Marriage of Frederick II., emperor 
of Germany, with the heiress of the king of Jerusalem — Acknowledged 
to be king— Persecutions of the Albigeois — Contests with the Moors in 
Spain — ViiaT of fSactions in Italy— The Guelphs and Ghibellines — Frederick 
of Germany engages in the holy war, sets sail, and returns to Otranto— 
Gregory IX. succeeds Pope Honorius — His rage against Frederick of Grer- 
many— Frederick arrives at Ptolemais, and concludes a treaty with Melik- 
Kamel— ^Deatli of Conraddin, sultan of Damascns-^Frederick acknow- 
ledged king of Jerusalem — Hostility of the Christians — He quits Pales- 
tine for Europe — His victories in Lombardy— Escommunicated by Gre- 
gory IX. — Treaty with his holiness — ^The pope determines on renewing 
tiie h(dy war— Tbibanlt V., king of Navarre, and Pierre de Dreux, en- 
gage in it— Council of Tours for promoting the cause of the Cmsaden— 


Deaths of Peter and of Robert Courtenay — Decline of the Latin empire 
in Constantinople— John of Brienne called to the throne — His death — 
Baldwin, his son-in-law, driven from the throne— Frederick of Germany 
excommunicated — He invades Italy and besieges Rome — Desolating civil 
war — Death of Melik-Kamel — Agitated state of Palestine— BatUe of 
Gaza— Death of Gregory IX. — Richard, duke of Cornwall, joins the 
Crusaders at Ptolemais, but soon returns to Italy — Pope Cele8ttoe.IV. — 
Disturbances in the reign of Innocent IV. — Pilgrims buy off their vows 
—Wretched state of Palestine — Political pretensions of the popes — State 
of Europe — General reflections on the crusades — Songs of the Trouba- 
dours — Leprosy in the West— Crusades against Prussia and the Albigeoia 
— ^The sanguinary wars in the name of religion pp. 185-^ U. 

BOOK XIIL— A.D. 1242-1245. 


The Tartars of the middle ages — Their history and conquests — Gengis- 
khan, the Tartar chief— Temugin — Presier John— Khan of the Karaites 
—Conquest of China^ Carismia, and other extensive countries in Asia 
and Europe, by Gengiskhan — His death — ^^Hctorious career of Octal, 
khan of the Tartars — Hungary conquered — ^llie warriors of Carismia 
join the sultan of Cairo, and capture Jerusalem — ^The Mohammedans 
of Syria defeated by the Carismians, and Damascus captured— The 
Carismians rebel against the sultan of Cairo — ^They are defeated and 
dispersed — Barbarous hordes of the Comans— Distress of the Christians 
— Valeran, bishop of Berytas — Innocent IV., at the council of Lyons - 
determines on the seventh crusade, and excommunicates Frederick, em- 
peror of Germany — Cardinals first clothed in scarlet— Louis IX., king 
of France, recovers from a dangerous malady, and determines on pro- 
vecuting the seventh crusade against the infidels — The illustrious names 
engaged in it — Blanche, the queen- mother — Agitated state of Germany 
and Italy — Frederick of Germany deposed by the pope — Civil contests 
thence arising — The nobles of France form a league to resist the exactions 
of the pope — Louis makes extensive preparations for the holy war — The 
earl of Salisbury, and Haco king of Norway, engage in it — Ameliorated 
state of society resulting from the crusades — Louis embarks and arrives 
at Cyprus — Pope Innocent IV. takes charge of his kingdom — Mar- 
guerite, wife of Louis — Arcbambault de Bourbons — Sieur de Joinville— 
Antioch ravaged by the Turcomans — Louis receives an embassy from the 
Tartar prince, Ecadthai — Political discord among the Mohammedans — 
Family of the Ayoubites — Malek-Salek Negmeddin, sultan of Egypt — 
Militsiry and political state of Egypt at the time of the crusade— Louis IX. 
and the Christian forces arrive before Damietta — His address to the Cru- 
saders — He besieges Damietta— Fakreddin, the Egyptian leader — Louis 
attacks and defeats the infidel troops — Damietta captured — Negociations 
with Negmeddin — Livre Tournois — Bravery of the Bedouin Arabs — 
Sidon captured by the Mohammedans .' pp. 312-392. 


BOOK XIV.— A.D. 1248-1255. 

Alphonio count of Poictiers, and Hugh Lebran count of AngouUme, 
engage in the holy war— Opposition of Henry III. of England to hig 
barom and the pope— Raymond, count of Thoulouse — Count d'Artois — 
Death of Negmeddin — Beauty and genius of Chegger-Eddour, sultana 
of Egypt— Scharmesah captured by the Crusaders — Fakreddin takes the 
•ommand of the Egyptian forces — ^Treachery of the Mamelukes — Military 
operations on the canal of Aschmoum — Terrific effects of the Greek fire 
--Fakreddin slain, and the Saracens defeated— Rashness of Count 
d'Artois, and his death— Battle of Mansourah— The Crusaders defeated 
by the Mamelukes— The earl of Salisbury, Robert de Vair, and other 
illustrious warriors slain — Continued contests with the Egyptians, and 
serere losses of the Crusaders — Instances of devoted h'eroism and indi- 
Tidual bravery — ^The Crusaders exposed to famine and pestilence, and the 
Saracens victorious — ^The canal of Mehallah fatal to the Crusaders — 
Sufferings and losses of the Christian army — Guy du Chatel, Gaucher de 
Chatillon, and other distinguished Crusaders slain— Louis attempts to 
regain Damietta — Is defeated, and surrender^ as a prisoner of war — His 
entire army annihilated by the Saracens — Sieur de Joinville taken prisoner 
— Agonizing situation of Marguerite, queen of Louis — 30,000 Crusaden 
masmcred, or taken into slavery — Religious resignation of Louis — Ho 
enters into an abject treaty fur his ransom — Revolt of the Mamelukes- 
Death of Almoadan — Octai, chief of the Mamelukes— The emirs of 
Egypt— Chegger-Eddour elected sultana of Egypt, and Ezz-Eddin 
Aybek the governor — Extinction of the Ayoubite dynasty — Damietta 
delivef ed up to the Mussulmans— Ransom paid for Louis — Consternation 
in France on hearing of his capture— He arrives at Ptolemais — Deli- 
berates with his knights as to their future operations — ^The Syrians refuse 
to acknowledge the authority of the Mamelukes — Civil commotions in 
Egypt — Chegger-Eddour marries Ezz-Eddin, and yields her regal autho- 
rity — Death of Frederick II. of Germany — <^onrad, his successor, ex- 
communicated — Jacob of Hungary — ** Pastors" — Pope Innocent IV. 
nrges the preaching of a fresh crusade— Singular message of the *' Old 
Man of tluB Mountain" to Louis — A visit to his court — Cities of Palestine 
fortified by Louis— War between the sultans of Cairo and Damascus — 
Treaty between them, and hostilftiea resumed against the Christians — The 
Turcomans surprise Sidon, and slaughter the inhabitants — Belinas pil- 
laged by the Crusaders — Pious devot^ness of Louis — He fortifies Sidon 
-^eath of Blanche, queen -regent of France — Louis quits Palestine, and 
arrives at Paris— Exoellenee of Joinville's history — On the character and 
misfortunes of Louis — Damietta destroyed by the Mussulmans, and the 
mouth of the Nile filled with stones — Rise and fall of the Mamelukes — 
Hospital of Quinze-Vingts — The Tartars and Moguls — '^ Assizes of 
Jerusalem"— Characters of Frederick II. of Germany and Pope Inno- 
cent IV. — Papal crusade against Eccelino de Romano .... pp. 393-493. 





A.D. 1195—1198. 

Whsit we cast a retrospectiye glance over the periods we 
liare described, we congratulate ounelyes upon not having 
lired in those times of war and trouble ; but when we look 
around us, and reflect upon the age of which we form a part, 
we fear we have little reason to boast over the epochs com- 
monly termed barbarous. During twenty-five years a revo- 
lution, bom of opinions unknown to past ages, has pervaded 
cities, agitated nations, and shaken thrones. This revolution 
has for auxiliaries war and victory ; it strengthens itself with 
all the obstacles that are opposed to it ; it is for ever bom 
again from itself, and when we believe we can perceive the 
end of its ravages, it re-appears more terrible and menacing 
than ever. At the moment in which I resume the account 
of the Crusades,* the spirit of sedition and revolt, the 
fanaticism of modem doctrines, which seemed to slumber, 

* The author wrote the history of the fourth, fifth, and siith crusades 
during the last usurpation of Buonaparte. [How easily an observant 
reader may tell when a book was published — the above note wma, doubt- 
less, written after Buonaparte's failure. — ^TaAN«.] 



all at once awake, and again threaten the world with uni* 
Tersal disorder ; nations which tremble for their liberty and 
their laws, are aroused, and spring up in arms ; a coalition 
of all kings and of all nations, a general crusade is formed, 
not to defend the tomb of Christ, but to preserve that which 
Europe possesses of its ancient civilization. It is amidst 
the rumoiu's of a new revolution, of a formidable war, that 
I am about to describe the revolutions and wars that dis- 
turbed the East and the "West in the middle ages. May I, 
w^hilst deploring the calamities of my country, profit by the 
events of which I am a witness, and by the frightful spec- 
tacle which is before my eyes, to paint with greater truth 
the passions and the troubles of a remote age, and revive 
in the hearts of my contemporaries a love of concord and 

The death of Saladin was followed by that which almost 
always is to be observed in the dynasties of the East, — a reign 
of agitation and trouble succeeding a reign of strength and 
absolute power. In these dynasties, which have no other 
support but victory, and the all-powerful vrill of a single 
man, as long as the sovereign, surrounded by his soldiers, 
commands, he is tremblingly obeyed ; but as soon as he has 
closed his eyes, his people precipitate themselves towards 
license with the same ardour that they had yielded to ser- 
"vitude ; and passions, long restrained by the presence of the 
despot, only blaze forth with the greater violence when there 
remains nothing of him but a vain remembrance. 

Saladin gave no directions respecting the order of succes- 
sion, and by this want of foresight prepared the ruin of his 
empire. One of his sons, Alaziz,* who commanded in 
Egypt, caused himself to be proclaimed sultan of Cairo; 
another t took possession of the sovereignly of Aleppo, and 
a third of the principality of Amath.J Malek-Adel, the 
brother of Saladin, assumed the throne of Mesopotamia, 
and the countries in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates. 

* Alm^k-Alazoz, Emad-eddin OUman. We have given the names 
of the Mussulman princes as the greater part of our historiahs write 
them ; we shall take care to point out in notes how they arc pronounced 
by Arabian authors. 

t Alem^lek Almansour, Nassir-eddin Mohammed. 

X Alm^k Aladd Seif-eddin Abcn-beer Mohammed. 


The principal emirs, and all the princes of the race of the 
Ayoubites, made themselves masters of the cities and 
provinces of which they held the command.* 

Afdhal,t eldest son of Saladin, was proclaimed sultan of 
Damascus. Master of S3rria, and of the capital of a vast empire, 
sovereign of Jerusalem and Palestine^ he appeared to have 
preserved something of the power of his father ; but all fell 
into disorder and confusion. The emirs, the old companions 
of the victories of Saladin, endured with reluctance the 
authority of the young sultan. Several refused to take 
the oath of obedience, § drawn up by the cadis of Damascus ; 

* Aboalfeda and some other Arabian historians point out safficiently 
raoeinctly the division that the Ayonbite princes made of the vast provinces 
that formed the empire of Saladin. This empire included Syria, Egypt, 
almost all Mesopotamia, and even a great portion of Arabia. 

Aziz, as we have said, established himself in Egypt ; Afdhal and Thaher 
shared Syria between them, one reigning at Damascus, and the other at 
Aleppo. Adel retained, as his part, the cities, situated beyond the 
Euphrates, which composed the eatiem provinces t that is, Mesopotamia 
proper. To these three great divisions were attached several feudatory 
princes, who governed as Aefs various cities of the empire. Hamah, 
Ss'alamiak, Moanah, and Mambedj belonged to Mansour ; it was from this 
branch that issued the celebrated Aboulfeda : the family of Chirkouh was 
established at Emessa ; Thaher, son of Saladin, enjoyed Bosra; Amdjed, 
great-grandson of Ayoub, was prince of Balbek ; Cheizer, Abou Cobai's, 
Sahyonn, TelLBacher, Kaubeb, Adjlonn, Barin, Kafar-Tab, and Famieh 
were possessed by various emirs who had served in the armies of Saladin. 

As to Yemen, a province of Arabia, in which Touran-chah established 
himself, the family of the Ayoubites reigned there till 1239. 

t Alm^lek Alafdhal, Nour-eddin AH. 

t At the death of Saladin Jerusalem came into the possession of 
Afdhal, his son. who gave it in fief to the emir Azz-eddin Djerdik. Aziz 
becoming master of Damascus, the holy city fell into the hands of another 
emir, Ilm-eddin Caxsser ; to him succeeded Aboul^iedj, the favourite of 
Adel ; for in the division that this prince and his nephew Aziz made of 
Egypt and Syria, Palestine remained in the power of Adel. Aboul-H^j 
was in his turn replaced by the famous emir Aksankar-el-K^bir, and he 
by Meimoun, 1197. When the empire became re-unitied under the 
dominion of Adel, his son Moaddhem had Damascus, of which Palestine 
and Jerusalem were dependencies. 

$ This is the text of tlie oath, as it has been preserved by an histo- 
. nan : — '• I, such a one, devote myself entirely from this moment to the 
serfice of the sultan Elraelek Alnaser Salak-eddin, as long as he shall 
live. I swear to consecrate my life, my property, my sword, and my 
powers to the defence of his empire, and to be always obedient to his 
orders. I swear to observe the same engagements after him to his son 


others consented to take it, but on condition that their fie& 
should be secured to them, or that new ones should be 
bestowed upon them. Ear from labouring to reduce the, 
power of this haughty soldiery, Afdhal neglected the duties 
of his throne for the pleasures of debauchery, to which he 
gave himself up entirely, abandoning the welfare of his 
empire to a vizier,* who rendered him odious to the 
Mussulmans. The army demanded the dismissal of the 
vizier, whom they accused of having usurped the authority of 
the prince: the vizier, on his park, advised his master to 
banish the seditious emirs. The weak sultan, who only saw 
with the eyes of his minister, annoyed bv the presence and 
complaints of a discontented army, dismissed from his ser- 
vice a great number of soldiers and emirs, who went among 
all the neighbouring princes, complaining of his ingratitude, 
and accusing hijn ot forgetting, in the bosom of idleness 
and effeminacy, the holy laws of the prophet and the glory 
of Saladin. 

The greater number of them, who went ruto Egypt, 
exhorted Alaziz to take anns against his brother. The 
sultan of Cairo gave ear to their advice, and under the pre- 
tence of avenging the glory of his father, conceived the 
project of possessing himself of Damascus. He assembled 

and heir Alm^lek Alafdhal. I swear to submit myself to him* to fight for 
htfl empire and states with my life, my wealth, my sword, and my troops. 
I swear to obey him in everything ; I devote myself to him inwardly and 
outwardly, and I take God for a witness of this engagement.'' 

* This vizier was named Nasr-allah, and bore the surname of Dhia- 
eddin, ' the splendour of religion ;' he was brother of the celebrated his- 
torian Ibn-Elatzir, author of the Tarikh Kamelt and himself cultivated 
letters with success. The study of most of the sciences occupied his 
youth, and his memofy was adorned with the most beautiful passages of 
the ancient and modem poetry of his nation. Saladin had given him as 
vizier to his son, and Nasr-allah proved by his conduct that he was worthy 
of the honour. If he committed faults as a minister, he at least honoured 
his character by remaining faithful to his master, sharing his misfortunes, 
and following him into exile. After remaining some time at Samosata, 
whither Afdhal was banished, he came to Aleppo, and entered into the 
service of Thaher, who reigned there ; and becoming dissatisfied with his 
conduct, he quitted the court, and retired to Mossoul, where he took up 
his residence. He died at Bagdad in 1239, whilst fulfilling a diplomatic 
mission with which the prince of Mossoul had charged him. Nasr-allah 
left several literary works, the nomenclature of which is contained in the 
biography of Ibn-Khilcan. 

HI8T0BT OT TEB OB178iJ>E8. 5 

hifl forces, and marclied into Syria at the head of an ann j. 
At the approach of danger, Amhal invoked assistance from 
the princes that reigned over the countries of Amath and 
Aleppo. Soon a formidable war blazed forth, into which 
was dragged the whole of the family of the Ajoubites. 
Alaziz laid siee^e to Damascus. The hopes of an easy con- 
quest animated his emirs, and made them believe that thej 
were fighting in a just cause ; but as they at first had but 
little success, and as victory seemed every day to fly further 
from their banners, the war began to appear to them unjust. 
At first they murmured ; then they revolted from Alaziz, 
and at length rejoined the troops of Syria. Ilie sultan of 
Cairo, upon being thus abandoned, was obliged to raise the 
siege disgracefully, and return into Eg3rpt. The sultans of 
Damascus and Aleppo pursued him across the desert, with 
the design of attacicmg him in his capital. Afdhal, at the 
head of a victorious army, soon carried terror to the banks of 
the Nile. Alaziz was about to be dethroned, and Egypt to be 
conquered by the Sjrrians, if the brother of Saladm, guided 
by a policy, whose motive might be easily divined, had not 
opposed the authority of his counsels to the arms of the 
conqueror, and re-established peace in the family of the 
Ayoubites. ^ 

The princes and emirs respected the experience of Malek- 
Adel, and allowed him to be the arbitrator of their differ- 
ences. The warriors of Syria and Egypt, accustomed to 
see him in camps, looked upon him as their leader, and 
followed him witli joy to battle ; whilst nations, that he had 
often astonished by his exploits, invoked his name in their 
reverses and dangers. The Mussulmans now perceived 
with surprise that he had been in ^a manner exiled in 
Mesopotamia, and that an empire, founded by his valour, 
was abandoned to young princes who bore no name among 
warriors : he himself grew secretly indignant at not having 
received due recompense for his labours, and was aware of 
all that the old soldiers, he had so often led to victory, might 
one day do to further his ambitious views. It was important 
to his designs that too much of the empire should not be in 
the same hands, and that the provinces should remain for 
some time longer shared by two rival powers. The peace 
which he had brought about could npt be of long duration. 


and the discord ei^er on tHe point of breaMng out among 
his nephews, must soon offer him an opportunity of reaping 
the ri^ harvest of the vast heritage of Saladin. 

Afdhal, warned by the dangers he had run, resolved to 
change his conduct. Hitherto he had scandalized all faith- 
ful Mussulmans by his intemperance in the use of wine. 
Aboulfeda, who was descended from the family of Saladin,* 
says, in his history, that the sultan of Damascus, during the 
early years of his reign, passed his life amidst banquets and 
indulgence, taking delight in nothing but listening to songs . 
and composing verses. On his return from Egypt, Afdhal 
exhibited an entire alteration in his manners ; but he only 
fell from one excess into another ; he was now constantly at 
prayers, or employed in the most minute practices of the 
Mussulman religion ; but, in his excessive devotion, as in 
his dissipated life, he was perfectly inattentive to the duties 
of a monarch, and submitted himself, without reserve, to 
the counsels of the same vizier who had already nearly cost 
him his dominions. " Then,'* says Aboulfeda, " complaints 
against him were heard from all quarters, and tongues that 
had been loud in his praise became silent." 

Alaziz thought this opportunity favourable for again 
taking up arms against his brother ; and Malek-Adel, per- 
suaded that war was most likely to minister to his ambition, 
no longer advocated peace, but placed himself at the head of 
the army of Eg^-pt. Having intimidated by his threats, or 
won by his presents, the principal emirs of Afdhal, he at 
once took possession of Damascus in the name of Alaziz, 
and soon governed as sovereign the richest provinces of 

Every day fresh quarrels broke out among the emirs and 
princes ; all those who had fought with Saladin, thought the 
moment was come at which to put forth and establish their 
pretensions ; and the princes who still remained of the family 
of Noureddin began to entertain hopes of regaining tlie 
provinces wrested from the unfortunate Attabeks by the son 
of Ayoub. All the East was in a state of fermentation. 

* M. Am. Jourdain has published a curious nccount of Aboulfeda and 
his family, the materials for which were supplied by the works themselves 
of this historian : it is printed in the fourteenth volume of Le$ A finales 
des Voyages f &c. of M. Malte Bran. 


Bloodj divisions desolated Persia, a prey to the various 
claims of the feeble remains of the race of the Scljoucides. 
The empire of the Carismians, which conquest was every 
day extending, threatened at the same time the capital of 
Corosan and the city of Bagdad, in which the pontiff' of the 
Mussulman religion lived in perpetual fear. For a long 
time the caliphs had been unable to take any active part in 
the events that changed the face of Syria ; and the only 
authority they possessed was exercised in consecrating the 
victories of the triumphant party, whoever that might be. 
Afdhal, driven from Damascus, called in vain upon the 
caliph of Bagdad for protection ; all that shswiow of power 
could, afford him was a recommendation to exercise patience, 
and an assurance '^ thai his enemies would have to render an 
account to Ood of what they had done.^* 

Among the rivalries that convulsed the Mussulman states, 
Malek-Adel met with no obstruction to his projects ; the 
troubles and disorders which his usurpation gave birth to, 
even the wars undertaken against him, all contributed to the 
consolidation and extension of his unjustly-obtained power. 
It became evident that he must soon unite under his sway 
the greater part of the provinces conquered bv Saladin. 
Thus was verified, for the second time within a few years, 
the observation of an Arabian historian, who expressed 
himself in the following words when speaking of the suc- 
cession of Noureddin : " The greater part of the founders 
of empires have not been able to leave them to their posteritu.^^ 
This instability of power is not a thing to be wondered at 
in countries where success renders everything legitimate, 
where the caprices of fortune are frequently laws, and 
where the most formidable enemies of an empire founded 
by arms, are the very men whose bravery has assisted in 
raising it. The historian we have quoted, deplores the revo- 
lutions of military' despotism, without duly searching for the 
natural causes of them ; and can explain so many changes 
only by referring to the justice of God, always ready to 
punish, at least in their children, all who have employed vio- 
lence or shed the blood of man to attain empire. 

Such were the revolutions which, during many years, 
ag tated the Mussulman states of Syria and Egypt. The 
fourth crusade, which we are about to describe, ani in which 


the Christijins might haye greatly profited by the troubles 
of the East, only served to reunite the scattered members 
of the empire of Saladin. Malek- Adel owed the progress of 
his power not only to the divisions of the Mussulmans, but 
to the spirit of discord that reigned among the ChristiaiiB. 

After the departure of the king of England, as was 
always the case at the temunation of every crusade, the 
Christian colonies, surrounded by perils, advanced more 
rapidly to their fall. Henry of Champagne, charged with 
the government of Palestine, disdained the title of king, as 
he was impatient to return to Europe, and looked upon his 
kingdom as a place of exile. The three military orders, 
detained in Asia by their vows, constituted the principal 
strength of a state which but lately had had all the warriors 
of Europe for its defenders. Guy of Lusignan retired to 
Cyprus, took no more interest in the fate of Jerusalem, and 
had full occupation in keeping himself on his new throne, 
shaken by the continual revolts of the Greeks and threatened 
by the emperors of Constantiaople. 

Bohemond III., grandson of Kaymond of Poictiers, and 
descended, in the female line, from the celebrated Bohemond, 
one of the heroes of the first crusade, governed the prin- 
cipality of Antioch and the county of Tripoli. Amidst the 
misfortunes that a£Q[icted the Christian colonies, the sole aim 
of this prince was the extension of his dominions, and eyery 
means appeared to him good and just that could forward his 
designs. Bohemond pretended to have claims to the prin- 
cipality of Armenia; and employed by turns force and 
stratagem to get possession of it. After several useless 
attempts, he succeeded in decoying into his capital Eupin 
of the Moimtain, one of the princes of Armenia, and detained 
him prisoner. Livon, the brother of Eupin, determined to 
take signal vengeance for such an outrage ; and, under the 
pretence of treating for peace, invited Bohemond to repair 
to the frontiers of Armenia. The two princes engaged by 
oath to come without escort or train to the place of confer- 
ence ; but each formed a secret design of laying a snare for 
his aidversary. The Armenian prince, better seconded by 
either his genius or fortime, remained conqueror in this dis- 
graceful contest. Bohemond was surprised, loaded with 
chains, and carried away to a fortress of Lesser Armenia. 


The war was instanilj renewed with fuiy ; the people of 
both Ajmcnia and Antioch rushed to arms, and the coun- 
tries and cities of the two principalities were speedily bj 
turns invaded and ravaged. At length peace became desir- 
able, and afler some disputes upon the conditions, the prince 
of Antioch was sent back to his states, and Bupin of the 
Mountain was restored to the nations of Armenia. By an 
agreement entered into by the two princes, Alice, the daugh- 
ter of Bupin, married the eldest son of Bohemond. This 
union promised to be the pledge of a durable peace ; but 
the germ of so many divisions still subsisted ; the two par- 
ties retained a strong feeling of the outrage they had re- 
ceived ; and every treaty of peace becoming a fresh subject 
of discussion, war was always ready to be rekindled. 

In another direction, ambition and jealousy set at variance 
tbe orders of the Temple and St. John. At the period of 
the third crusade, the Hospitallers and the Templars were as 
powerM as sovereign prmces ; they possessed in Asia and 
Europe tillages, cities, and even provmces.* The two orders, 
rivalbng each other in power and glory, attended far less to 
the defence of the holy places than to the augmentation of 
their own renown and nches. Every one of their immense 
possessions, every one of their prerogatives, the renown of 
the knights, the credit of the leaders, ul, even to the trophies 
of their valour, were for them subjects of rivalry, and, at 
length, this spirit of discord and jealousy produced an open 
war. A French gentleman, established, m Palestine, pos- 
sessed, as a vassal of the Hospitallenf, the castle of Margat, 
situated towards the frontiers of Arabia. The TempIarB 
pretended that this castle belonged to them, and took pos- 
session of it by main force. Bobert, — that was the name of 
the gentleman, — carried his complaints to the Hospitallers, 
who immediately flew to arms and drove the Templars from 

* The Hospitallere then possessed within the limits of Christendom 
nineteen thouiand manortg the Templars had only nine thousand. Mat- 
thew Paris expresses himself thus : — Habent insnper Templarii in Chris- 
tianitate noTem millia maneriorom ; Hospitalii vero novem decern, pneter 
emolamenta et varios proventos ex fraternitadbns et pnedicationibna pro- 
▼enientes, et per privilegia sua accrescentes. — Maith. Parity ad annum 
1244, in Henry III., lib. xi. p. ^15. A manor in die middle ages woe 
the Mom qfemphugh* 

10 HI8T0BX 07 THE CSVSAD28. 

the castie. From that time the kniglits of the two orders 
never met without provoking each other to tlie combat; 
most of the Franks and Christians always taking a part in 
the qnarrcl, some for the order of St. John, others for that 
of the Temple. The king of Jerusalem and the most pru- 
dent of the barons made many useless attempts to restore 
peace ; and several Christian princes endeavoured in vain to 
reconcile the two rival orders. The pope himself had much 
difficulty in getting his sacred mediation to be accepted ; and 
it was only after long debates that the Holy See, sometimes 
armed with evangelical thunders, sometimes employing the 
paternal language of the head of the Church, terminated, by 
its wisdom and supreme ascendancy, a contest which the 
knights themselves would have preferred deciding with 
sword and lance. 

During these fatal divisions none thought of defending 
themselves against the general enemy, the Saracens. One 
of the mpst melancholy consequences of the spirit of faction 
IB, that it always leads to a lamentable indifference for the 
common cause. The more violently the parties attacked 
each other, the less perception they seemed to have of the 
dangers that threatened the Christian colonies ; neither the 
knights of the Temple or of St. John, nor the Christians of 
Antioch or PtolemaJis, ever thought of asking for succour 
against the infidels ; and history does not say that one per- 
son was sent from the East to make Europe aware of the 
griefs of Sion. 

The situation of the Christians in Palestine was besides so 
uncertain and perilous, that the wisest could form no idea of 
coming events, or dare to adopt a resolution. If they 
appealed afresh to the warriors of the West, they broke the 
truce, made with Saladua, and exposed themselves to all the 
resentment of the infidels ; if they respected treaties, the 
truce might be broken by the Mussulmans, ever ready to 
profit by the calamities which fell upon the Christians. In 
this state of things, it appeared difficult to foresee a new 
crusade, which was neither called for by the wishes of the 
Christians of Asia, nor promoted by the mterests of Europe. 
In fact, when we cast our eyes over the Christian colomes 
of the East, as they are described to us in these unhappy 
times, and see the spirit of ambition and diacord diaplamng 


in all hearts the holy spirit of the G-ospel, >ye cannot wonder 
that Christendom took so little interest in their fate. Again, 
when contemporary history represents to ns these colonies a 
prey to license and division, and destitute of everything that 
cordd render them flourishing, we can scarcely believe that 
the West was again likely to lavish its wealth and its blood 
to support ^d defend them. But the great name of Jeru- 
salem still produced a powerful effect upon the minds of all ; 
the rememorance of the first crusade still aroused the enthu- 
siasm of Christians ; and the veneration for the holy places, 
which appeared to grow weaker in the kingdom of Christ 
itself, was yet cherished beyond the seas and in the principal 
countries of the West. 

Celestine III. had, by his exhortations, encouraged the 
warriors of the third crusade ; and, at the age of ninety, 
pursued with zeal all the projects of his predecessors; 
ardently wishing that the last days of his ponl^cate should 
be illustrated by the conquest of Jerusalem. After the 
return of Bichard, the news of the death of Saladin had 
spread joy throughout the West, and revived the hopes of 
the Christians. Celestine wrote to all the faithful to inform 
them that the most formidable enemy of Christendom had 
ceased to live ; and, without regarding the truce made by 
Bichard Coeur de Lion, he ordered his bishops and arch- 
bishops to preach a new crusade in their dioceses.* The 
sovereign pontiff promised all who would take the cross the 
same privileges and the same advantages as in the preceding 
crusades. The profanation of the holy places ; the oppression 
under which the faithful of the East groaned ; the ever- 
increasing ^insolence and audacity of the Saracens — such were 
the motives by which he supported his holy exhortations. 
He addressed nimself particularly to the bishops of England, 
and commanded them to use every persuasion to induce 
Bichard again to take up arms against the infidels. 

Bichard, although returned, had never laid aside the cross, 

* We poBsess two letters written by Celeitine to Hubert, archbishop of 
Canterbury, to engage him to preach the crusade. The pope commands 
the archbishop to employ ecclesiastical censures against those who, after 
taking the cross, delayed their departure for the Holy Land ; and to re- 
quire such as oould not possibly set out, to send, at their own expense, 
oat Mr two men to fight against the infidels. 


the Bymbol of pilgrimage ; and it might be Enipposed he still 
intended to repair again to the Holy Land ; out, Bcarcely 
escaped from an unjust captiYity, taught by his own expen- 
ence how great were the difficulties and perils of a distant 
enterprise, his thoughts and time were engrossed by his 
endeavours to remedy his losses, to defend or aggrandize his 
states, and to be on his guard against the insidious attempts 
of Philip Augustus. His knights and barons, whom ne 
himself exhorted to resume the cross, professed, as he did, a 
warm devotion for the cause of Jerusalem ; but they could 
not make up their minds to return to a country which had 
been to them a place of suffering and exile. 

Although the appearance of ttie preachers of the crusade 
eveiywhere inspired respect, they had no better success in 
France, where, only a few years before, a hundred thousand 
warriors had been roused by the summons to defend the holy 
places. If the fear of the enterprises of Philip was sufficient 
to detain Bichard in the West, the dread of the vindictive 
and jealous disposition of Eichard exercised the same influ- 
ence over Philip. The greater number of his knights and 
nobles followed his example, and contented themselves with 
shedding tears over the fate of Jerusalem. The enthusiasm 
for the crusade was commimicated to only a small number of 
warriors, amongst whom history names the count de Mont- 
fort, who afterwards conducted the cruel war against the 

Prom the commencement of the crusades, Germany had 
never ceased to send its warriors to the defiance of the Holy 
Land. It deplored the recent loss of its armies, destroyed 
or dispersed in Asia Minor, and the death of the Emperor 
Frederick, who had gained nothing but a grave in the plains 
pf the East ; but the remembrance of so great a disaster did 
not extinguish in all hearts the zeal for the cause of Jeru- 
salem/ Henry VI., who occupied the imperial throne, had 
not partaken, as the kings of France and England had, the 
perils and reverses of the last expedition. Unpleasant 
remembrances or fears of his enemies in Europe could have 
no effect in preventing him from joining in a new enterprise, 
or deter him from a holy pilgrimage which so many illus- 
trious .examples seemed to point out as a sacred dut^. 

Although this prince had been ezcommunicatea by the 


Holy See, onlj the preceding jear, the Pope sent an embaflsy 
to him, charged with the duty of recalling to his mind the 
example of his father Frederick, and urging him to assume 
the cross. Heniy, who sought every occasion to conciliate 
the head of the Church, and who likewise entertained yast 
projects in which a new crusade might be very serviceable, 
received the envoy of Celestine with great honours. 

Of all the princes of the middle ages, no one evinced more 
ambition than Henry YI. ; his imagination, say historians, 
was Med with the glory of the CsBsars, and he wished to be 
able to say with Alexander, all that my desires can emhrace 
belongs to me. Tancred, a natural son of William II., king 
of Sicily, chosen by the Sicilian nobility to succeed his 
&ther, was recently deceased ; and the emperor, who had 
espoused Constance, the heiress of a throne founded by 
Norman Crusaders, and desirous of establishing his claims, 
judged that the time was come to carry out his designs and 
achieve his conquests. The expedition of which the Holy 
See desired him to be the leader, was exceedingly favourable 
to his ambitious projects ; when, promising to defend Jeru- 
salem, he only thought of the conquest of Sicily ; and the 
conquest of Sicily had no value in his estimation but as 
opening the road to Greece and Constantinople.* At the 
same time that he professed entire submission to the will of 
the head of the Church, he endeavoured to form an alliance 
with the republics of Genoa and Venice, promising them the 
spoils of the conquered ; but in his mind he nourished the 
hope that he should one day overthrow the Italian republics 
ana lower the authority of the Holy See, and upon their 
remains revive, for himself and his family, the empire of 
Augustus and Constantine. 

Such was the prince to whom Celestine sent an embassy, 
and whom he wished to persuade into a holy war. Ailer 
having announced his intention of taking the cross, Henry 
convoked a general diet at Worms, in which he himself 
exhorted the faithful to take up arms for the defence of 
the holy places. Since Louis VII., king of France, who 

* This reminds ns of the plans of conquest laid down by Pyrrhus, 
king of Epirus, — and of the traveller, who intended to perambulate the 
globe, — that he might, at the end of his wanderings, plant cabbagm in 
Hanover, — ^Trans. 


harangued His subjects to induce them to join in the crusade, 
Honry was the only monarch that had mingled his voice 
with that of the preachers of the holy war, to make his sub- 
jects acquainted with the sufferings and complaints of the 
Church of Jerusalem. His eloquence, celebrated by the 
historians of his time, but above allj the spectacle presented 
of a great emperor himself preaching a holy war against the 
infidels, made a profound impression upon the multitude of 
his auditors.* After this solemn address, the most illus- 
trious of the prelates assembled at Worms ascended the 
evangelical pulpit to keep up the rapidly increasing en- 
thusiasm of the faithful ; during eight hours nothing was 
heard but the groans of Sion and the city of Otod. Henry, 
surrounded by bis court, assiuned the symbol of'the Cru- 
saders; a great number of German nobles followed his 
example, some to please God, and others to please the em* 
peror. Among those who took the oath to combat the 
Saracens, history names Henry duke of Saxony ; Otho mar- 
quis of Brandenburgh ; Henry count palatine of the Ehme ; 
Herman landgrave of Thuringia ; Henry duke of Brabant ; 
Albert count of Apsburg; Adolphus count of Schwemburg ; 
Henry count of Pappenhein, marshal of the empire ; the duke 
of Bavaria; Frederick, son of Leopold, duke of Austria; 
Conrad marquis of Moravia; Valeran de Limboiu'g; and 
the bishops of Wurtzburg, Bremen, Verdun, Habbastadt, 
Passau, and Eatisbon.f 

The crusade was preached in all the provinces of Ger^ 
many, and the letters of the emperor and the pope kindled 
the zeal of the Christian warriors everywhere ; never had an 
enterprise against the infidels Been undertaken under more 
favourable auspices. As Germany undertook the crusade 
abnost singly, the glory of the German nations seemed as 
much interested in this war as religion itself. Henry was 

* All the facts relative to the preaching of this crusade are to be found 
in Roger dc Hoveden, Matthew Paris, Godfrey Moine, William of New- 
bridge, Oth5 of St. Blaise, and Arnold of Lubeck. The latter gives the 
most details ; he does not fail to tell us that forty burgesses of Lubeck 
took the cross on this occasion. 

t The long lists of the names and titles of the Crusaders may at first 
appear tiresome to the reader ; but as each name represents a territory or 
an estate, the lists are, in fact, the best means of becoming thoroughly 
acquainted with the extent of this astonishing mania«-^T&ANS. 


to eommandi the holy expedition ; and the Crusaders, full of 
confidence and hope, were preparing to follow him to the 
East. But Henry entertained other yiews ; several nobles 
of his court, some who penetrated his secret designs, and 
others who believed they oflTered him prudent advice, con- 
jured him to remain in the West, and direct the crusade 
j&om the bosom of his dominions ; and Henry, after a slight 
resistance, yielded to their prayers, and gave his whole 
attention to the hastening of the departure of the Gru- 

The emperor of Germany placed himself at the head of 
forty thousand men and took the route for Italy, where 
everything was prepared for the conquest of Sicily; the 
remainder of the Crusaders were divided into two armies, 
which, proceeding by different roads, were to meet in Syria. 
The first, commanded by the duke of Saxony and the duko 
of Brabant, embarked at ports of the German Ocean and 
the Baltic ; the second crossed the Danube, and directed its 
march towarda Constantinople, whence the fleet of the 
Greek emperor Isaac was to transport it to Ptolemais. To 
this army, commanded by the archbishop of Mayence and 
Valeran de Limbourg, were joined the Himgarians, who 
accompanied their queen Margaret, sister to Philip Augustus. 
The queen of Hungary, after having lost Bela her husband, 
had made a vow to live only for Christ, and to end her days 
in the Holy Land. 

The Crusaders under the command of the archbishop of 
Mayence and Valeran de Limbourg, were the first to arrive 
in Palestine. Scarcely were they landed when they ex- 
pressed their desire and resolution to begin the war agaipst 
the infidels. The Christians, who were then at peace with 
the Saracens, hesitated to break the truce signed by Eichard, 
and were, further, unwiUing to give the signal for hostilities 
before they could open the campaign with some hopes of 
success. Henry of Champagne and the barons* of Palestine 
represented to the German Crusaders the danger to which 
an imprudent rupture would expose the Christians of the 
East, and conjured them to wait for the army of the dukes 
of Saxony and Brabant. But the Germans, full of con- 
fidence in their own strength, were indignant at having 
obstadea thrown in the way of their valour by vain scruples 


and chimerical alarms ; they were astonished that the' Chris- 
tians of Palestine should thus refuse the assistance sent to 
them hy Providence itself, and added, in a tone of anger and 
contempt, that warriors' of the West were not accustomed 
to defer the hour of battle, and that the pope had not in- 
duced them to take up arms and the cross to remain in a 
state of shameful inactivity. The barons and knights of the 
Holy Land could not listen to such injurious speeches with- 
out indifi^nation, and replied to the German Crusaders that 
they had neither solicited nor wished for their arrival ; that 
they were better acquainted than the northern warriors of 
Europe with what was advantageous to the kingdom of 
Jerusalem; that they had without any foreign succour 
braved the greatest perils, and that when the proper mo- 
ment should arrive they knew how to prove their valour 
otherwise than by words. Amidst such warm debates the 
minds of both parties became daily more exasperated, and 
the most cruel discord thus prevailed among the Christians 
before war was declared against the infidels. 

All at once the German Crusaders marched out in arms 
from Ptolemais, and commenced hostilities by ravaging the 
lands of the Saracens. At the first signal of war the Mus- 
sulmans gathered together their forces ; and the danger that 
threatened them putting an end to their discord, from the 
banks of the Nile and from the remotest parts of Syria 
crowded hosts of warriors but lately armed against each 
other, but who now, assembled under the same banners, 
acknowledged no other enemies but the Christians. 

Malek-Adel, towards whom all Mussulmans turned their 
eyes when the defence of Islamism was the question, marched 
from Damascus at the head of an army and repaired to Jeru- 
salem, where all the emirs of the adjoining provinces came 
to take his orders. The Mussulman army, after dispersing 
the Christians who had advanced towards the mountains of 
NM)louse, laid siege to Jafia. 

In the third crusade much importance had been attached 
to the conservation of this city. Eichard Coeur de Lion had 
fortified it at great expense, and when that prince returned 
to Europe he left a numerous garrison in it. Of all the 
maritime places, Jaffa was nearest to the city which was 
the object of the wishes of the faithful ; if it remained in 


the bandfl of the CliriBtiaiis, a road was always open for them 
to Jerusalem, and the means of laying siege to that phice 
were rendered more easy ; but if it fell into the power of the 
Mussulmans, it gave them proportionate advantages for the 
defence of the holy city. 

When it was known at Ptolemais that the city of Jaffa 
was threatened, Henry of Champagne, with his barons and 
knights, immediately took arms to defend it, and joined the 
German Crusaders, giving all their energies to the prosecu- 
tion of a war which they foimd could now no longer be 
deferred or avoided. The three military orders, with the 
troops of the kingdom, were about to set forward on their 
march, when a tragical accident once more plunged the 
Christians in grief, and retarded the effects of the happy 
harmonywhich had been re-established at the approach of 
peril. Henry of Champagne, leaning against a window of 
nis palace, at which he nad placed himself to see his army 
defile from the city, the window all at once gave way, and 
in its fall precipitated him with it.* The unfortunate prince 
expired in sigut of his soldiers, who, instead of following 
him to battle, accompanied him to his grave, and lost sevenu 
days in celebrating his funeral obsequies. The Christians of 
Ptolemaos were still weeping the death of their king, when 
the misfortune they dreaded increased their grief and con- 
sternation ; the garrison of Jaffa having attempted a sortie, 
had fallen into an ambuscade, and all the warriors that com- 
posed it were either killed or taken prisoners. The Mus- 
sulmans entered the city almost without resistance, and 
twenty thousand Christiains were put to the sword. 

These disasters had been foreseen by all who had dreaded 
the breaking of the truce ; but the barons and knights of 
Palestine lost no time in vain regrets, or in the utterance of 
useless complaints, and looked with eager impatience for the 
arrival of the Crusaders who had set out from the ports of 
the Ocean and the Baltic. These troops had stopped on the 

* Roger de Hoveden givei this account of the death of Henry of 
Champagne. Arnold of Labeck says that this prince had placed himself 
at a window to take the air. The same Arnold adds that many thought 
that God had punished Henry for the regret he had erinoed on the arrival 
of the Germans, whom he envied the glory of delivering the kingdom o# 

Vol. II.— 2 


coast of Portugal, where they bad defeated the Moors, and 
taken from them the city of Silves. Proud of their triumph 
over the infidels, they landed at Ptolemais at the moment 
the people were lamenting the loss of Jafia and crowding to 
the churches to implore the mercy of Heaven. 

The arrival of the new Orusaaers restored hope and joy 
to the Christians, and they resolved to lose no time, but to 
march at once against the infidels. The army left Ptolemais 
and advanced towards the coast of Syria, whilst a nume- 
rous fleet kept along shore, loaded with provisions and 
warlike stores. The Crusaders, without seeKing the army 
of Malek-Adel, laid siege to Berytus. 

The city of Beiytus, at an equal distance between Jeru- 
salem and Tripoli, by the commodiousness of its port, its 
large population, and its commerce, had become the rival of 
Ptolemais and Tyre. The Mussulman provinces of Syria 
acknowledged it as their capital, and it was in Berytus that 
the emirs, who contended for the lordship of the neighbour- 
inff cities, came to display the pomp of their coronations. 
AKer the taking of Jerusalem, Saladin was here saluted 
sovereign of the city of Qod, and crowned sultan of Da- 
mascus and Cairo. The pirates, who infested the seas, 
brought to this city all the spoils of the Christians ; the 
Mussulman warriors there deposited the riches acquired by 
conquest or brigandage ; and the Frank captives, made in 
late w^ars, were crowded together in the prisons of Berytus ; 
so that the Christians had powerful motives for endeavouring 
to get possession of this place, and the Mussulmans had no 
less urgent ones for defending it. 

Malek-Adel, after having destroved the fortifications of 
Jaffa, advanced with his army as far as the mountains of 
Anti-Libanus, on the route to Damascus ; but on hearing 
of the march and determinatioi^of the Crusaders, he crossed 
the mountains on his left, and drew near to the coast : the 
two armies met on the plain watered by the river Eleuthera, 
between Tyre and Sidon. The trumpets soon sounded to 
battle ; the army of the Saracens, which covered an immense 
space, endeavoured at first to surround the Franks, and 
then to get between them and the coast ; their cavalry pre- 
cipiteted itself by turns on the flanks, the van, and the rear 
of the Christians. The Christians closed their battaLionB^ 


and on all sides presented impenetrable ranks. Whilst their 
enemies showered arrows ana darts upon them, their lances 
and swords were bathed in the blood of the Saracens. They 
fought with different arms, but with the same brarerj and 
fury. The victory remained for a long time uncertain ; the 
Christians were several times on the point of losing the 
battle ; but their obstinate valour at length triumphed over 
all the resistance of the Mussulmans, and the sesrcoast, the 
banks of the river Eleuthera, and the declivities of the 
mountains were covered with dead. The Saracens lost a 
ereat many of their emirs. Malek-Adel, who displayed, 
during the whole of this day, the skill of a great captain, 
was wounded on the field of battle, and only owed his safety 
to flight. All his army was dispersed ; some fled towarcb 
Jerusalem, whilst others hurried along the road to Da- 
mascus, n^hither the news of this bloody defeat carried 
consternation and despair.* 

In consequence of this victoiy, all the cities on the coast 
of Syria, which still belonged to the Mussulmans, fell into 
the power of the Christians ; the Saracens abandoned Sidon, 
Laodicea, and Giblet. When the Christian fleet and army 
appeared before Beijtus, the ^;arrison was surprised, and 
dia not venture to oner any resistance. This city contained, 
say historians, more provisions than would have sufficed 
for the inhabitants during three years; two large vessels, 
add the same chronicles, could not have contained the bows' 
arrows, and machines of war that were found in the city of 
Berytus. In this conquest immense riches fell into the 
hands of the victors, but the most precious reward of their 
triumph doubtless was the deliverance of nine thousand 
captives, impatient to resume their arms, and avenge the 
outrages of their long captivity. The prince of Antioch, 
who had joined the Christian army, sent a dovef to his 

* We possess a yeiy predous monumeot apoD the battle of Sidon ; it 
it a letter from the duke of Saxony, written to the archbishop of Cologne. 
The duke was present at the battle. 

t Arnold, who gives an account of this message of the dove, appears 
to fear that it will not be beliered. This is the manner in which he ex* 
presses himself in the third chapter :->Hic qaiddam dicturus sam non 
ridicnlum, sed ridicol^ i^ gentibns tractnmi qui quoniam sapientiores liliis 
tads in generstione su& sunt, multa ezcogitant, qtm nostrates non novo- 
nmty nisi forti ab eia didioerinL Solent enim ezeontps ad qwsUbet 


oftpital to annoimoe to all the inliabitaiits of the principalitj 
the miiaculoufl victory giuned by the soldiers of the cross. 
In all the Christian cities thanks were offered np to the 
Grod of armies. The historians, who have transmitted to vm 
the account of these glorious events, in order to paint the 
transports of the Christian people, content themselves with 
repeating these words of holy writ : " Then Sum leaped wUh 
joy, and the children ofJudah v)ere filled with delight,*^ 

Whilst the Crusaders were thus pursuing their triumphs 
in Syria, the emperor Henry YI. took advantage of all the 
means and all the powers that the crusade had placed in his 
hands, to achieve the conquest of the kingdoms of Naples and 
Sicily. Although, in the course of his victories, he unceasingly 
invoked religion, humanity, and justice, he only listened to 
the dictates of his ambition ; and, tormented by the sentiment 
of an implacable revenge, he was neither touched by the 
misery of the conquered, nor the submission of his enemies. 
All who had shown any respect or any fidelity for the family 
of Tancred, were cast by his orders into dungeons, or 
perished in horrible tortures, which he himself had invented. 
The army he led but too well seconded his gloomy and 
savage policy ; the peace which the conquerors boasted of 
having restored to the people of SicOy, caused, them more 
evils, and made more victims than war itself. Falcandus^ 
who died some years before this expedition, had deplored 
beforehand, in his history, the misfortunes that were about 
to desolate his country. He already saw the most flourish- 
ing cities and the rich country of Sicily laid waste by the 
irruption of the barbarians. " Oh ! unfortunate Sicilians," 
cried he, '' it would be less frightful for you still to endure 
the tyrants of old Syracuse, than to live under the empiro 
of this savage nation, which advances to invade your terri- 
tory, and plunge you into all the horrors of misery and 
slavery." • 

negotia secmn ezportare columbu, qn» domi ant ote aut pvlloa noviter 
habent creatos, et si in vi& forte accelerare ▼olont nundnm, scriptas literas 
rab umbilico coluinbtt rabtiliter ponnnt, et earn avolare permittmnt. 
Que cum ad snoa foetna propenit, oeleriter amicis desideFatiim nanciuiii 
apportat. * 

* Tbe picture of Faleandns ia perfectly prophetic, and describes events 
exactly like those which came after him. We will onote the most cnriooa 
:-«>lB^aeri mihi jam fideor tnibiilentM bailMronun aciea* eo t^ 

BXftrOST 07 tXX OB178ADX8. 21 

Nerertiielefla, tliese pitileas soldien wore the erosaes of 
pilgnniB; and their emperor, although not yet relieved 
fpom hia excommunication, arrogated to himself glory as the 
first of the soldiers of Christ. Henry YI. was considered 
aa the head of the crusade, and supreme arbiter of the 
affiiirs of the East. The king of Cyprus offered to become 
his vassal ; Liyon, prince of Armenia^ begged the title of 
king of him. The emperor of Germany haying no more 
enemies to dread in the West, gave his whole attention 
to the war against the Saracens, and, in a letter addressed 
to all the nobles, magistrates, and bishops of his empire, 
exhorted them to hasten the departure of the Crusaoers. 
The emperor undertook to keep up an army of fi%- thou- 
sand men for one year, and promised to pay thirty oimces of 
gold to every one that should remain under his banners till 
the end of the holy war. A great number of warriors, 
seduced by this promise, entered into an engagement to 
cross the sea, and fight against the infidels. Henry had no 
further need of them for his own conquests, and therefore 
pressed their departure for the East. Conrad, bishop of 

fernntur impetu irruentes, mitates opulentas et loca diutiirn& pace ilorentU 
metu concutere, csde vastare, rapinia atterere, et foedare loxuria. Ingerit 
se mihi, et lachrymas a nolente fatnne species calamitatia eztorquet. 
Oecumint hinc ctves ant raiatendo gladiis intercepti, ant se dedendo 
miaer& aerritnte depreiai. lUinc Tirginea in ipsia parentum oonapectibua 
oooatupratB : matronae poat varia et preciosa capitis, colli, et pectom 
omamenta direpta, ludibrio habitse et defizia in terra oculis inconsola- 
biliter deplorantes, venerabile foedus conjugii foedissimie gentis libidine 
▼iolari. Nee enim ant rationis ordine regi, ant miseratione deflect!, ant 
reUgione terreri Thentonica novit inaanta, qnam et innatna fnror exagitat, 
et rapadtaa stimulat, et libido pnecipitat. Hec antem in Apulii Yid- 
nisque provinciis geri, licet horrendum ac trute ait facinna, et mnlto cum 
moerore deflendum, ntcnnqae tamen tolerabile pntaretur, ai in cispbarinia 
tantum partibaa barbarornm immanitaa desieyiret. Servire barbaria 
jam cogetnr antiqna ilia Corinthioram nobilitaa qui patriis olim relictia 
aedibns, in Siciliam transnentea, et urbi construendse locum idoneum 
perquirentes, tandem in optimft et palcberrimfi parte Sicilise inter in- 
sqnalea portas moenia sua loco tutiasimo const ruxerant. Quid tibi nunc 
prodest philosophorum quondam floruisse doctrinis, et poetamm ora 
▼atifici fontia nectare proluisse ? satius tibi quidem esset ac tutiib, Sicu- 
lomm adhnc tyrannornm sse-vitiam pati, quam barbane foedseque gentia 
tyrannidem experiri. Vie tibi fons Celebris et pneclari nominis Arethusa, 
qns ad banc deroluta est miaeriam, ut quie poetarum solebas carmina 
modulari, nunc Thetftonicorum ebrietatem midges, et eorum serviaa 
ibeditati.— See HiHoria SiculOf ap. Mnratori, toI. yii. 


Hildesheim, chancellor of the empire, whose coonselB in the 
wars of Sicily had but too well aided the ambition and bar- 
barous policy of his master, was charged with the task of 
leading the third army of the Crusaders into Syria. 

The arrival of so powerful a reinforcement in Palestine 
rekindled the zeal and enthusiasm of the Christians, and it 
might be expected that they would signalize their arms by 
some great enterprise. The victory they had recently gained 
in the plains of Tyre, the taking of Berytus, Sidon, and 
Giblet, had struck the Mussulmans with terror. Some of 
the leaders of the Christian army proposed to march against 
Jerusalem. "That city," said tney, "cannot resist our 
victorious arms ; her governor is tf nephew of Saladin, who 
endures with impatience the authority' of the sultan of 
Damascus, and has often appeared disposed to listen to the 
propositions* of the Christians." Most of the barons did 
not, however, partake in this hope, and placed no confidence 
in the words of the Mussulmans. It was well known that 
the infidels, after the departure of Sjchard Coeur de Lion, 
had very considerably anniented the fortifications of Jeru- 
salem ;t that a triple walT, and ditches of great depth, must 
render this conquest more perilous, and particularly more 
difficult, than in the time of Ghodfrey of Bouillon. Winter 
was approaching ; the Christian army might be overtaken by 
the rainy season, and forced to raise the siege in face of the 
army of the Saracens. These- considerations determined the 
Crusaders to put off the attack of the holy city to the 
following year. 

It is not impertinent to remark here, that in the Chris- 
tian armies they were constantly talking about Jerusalem^ 

* Roger de Hoveden says tliat the Mussulman prince of Jerusalem 
had offered to deliver the city up to the Franks, and even to become a 
Christian. If the Mussulman prince had really made such a proposition, 
we cannot easily guess why the Christians should not have accepted it. 
But Roger is the only historian that mentions this perfectly incredible 
circumstance : Oriental historians are silent. 

t Otho of St. Blaise says, that after the first crusade the Saracens had 
fortified Jerusalem : — Pagani summ& industrifi civitates et castella quae 
obtinuerunti muniverunt, et pnecipu^ Hyerusalem, duplici muro ante- 
murali opposito, et fossatis profundissimis dngentes, inexpugnabilem 
reddiderunt, dato Christianis securissimo oonductu yisendi sepulcrum 
Dominicum, qusestiU gratis. — See OM. de Si. Blaite, ap. Urtii collect 


bat that the leaders as constantly directed their efforts and 
their arms to the acquisition of other conquests. The holy- 
city, situated far from the sea, contained within its walls no 
other treasures but religious relics and moniunents. The 
maritime cities of Asia could boast of more worldly wealth, 
and held out far greater advantages to the conquerors ; they 
afforded, likewise, more easy communication with Europe ; 
and if the conquest of Jerusalem sometimes tempted the 
piety and devotion of the pilgrims, that of cities bordering 
upon the sea, constantly kept awake the ambition of the 
maritime and warlike nations of the West. 

All the sea-coast from Antioch to Ascalon belonged to the 
Christians ; the Mussulmans having only been able to keep 
possession of Thoron. The garrison of this fortress fre- 
quently made incursions into the neighbouring coimtrics, 
and by continual hostilities, intercepted the communication 
between the Christian cities. The Crusaders resolved that 
before they set out for Jerusalem, they would lay siege to 
the castle of Thoron. This fortress, built by Hugh de Saint- 
Omer, in the reign of Baldwin H., was situated at some 
leagues from Tyre, on the summit of a mountain, between 
the chain of Libanus and the sea. It was only accessible 
across steep rocks, and by a narrow way bordered by preci- 

i)ices. The .Christian army had no machines sufficiently 
ofty to reach the heights oi the walls, and arrows or stones 
hurled from the foot of the mountain, could not injure the 
besieged ; whilst beams and fragments of rock precijjitated 
from the ramparts, made dreadful havoc among the besiegers. 
In the early attacks, the Saracens ridiculed the vain efforts 
of their enemies, and witnessed, almost without danger to 
themselves, prodigies of valour, and the most murderous in- 
ventions .of the art of sieges, exercised ineffectually against 
their walls. But the almost insurmountable difficulties that 
might have been supposed likely to arrest the progress of 
the Christians, only redoubled their ardour and courage.* 
They every day made fresh attacks, each day seeming to in- 
crease their efiorts, and their obstinate bravery was seconded 
by newly-invented machines of war. "With incredible labour, 

* Arnold of Lubec enters most folly into the details of this siege : this 
historian is almost oar only guide in this part of our narrative. We have 
found some useM documents in the continuator of Tabary. 


theey dug out the earth, and made themselyes a way acroM 
the rocks ; whilst some Saxons, who hod worked in the mines 
of Eammesherg, were employed in opening the flank of the 
mountain. The Crusaders at length reached the bottom of 
the ramparts of the fortress ; the walls, the foimdations of 
which they demolished, be^n to shake in various parts, 
without being struck by me ram, and their fall, which 
seemed delayed by a miracle, filled the besieged with dread. 

The Mussulmans now losing all hope of defending them- 
selyes, proposed to capitulate ; but such was the disorder of 
the Christian army, with its multitude of leaders, that not 
one of them durst take upon himself to listen to the pro- 
posals of the infidels. Henry, palatine of the Bhine, and 
the dukes of Saxony and Brabant, who enjoyed great con- 
sideration among the Germans, could enforce obedience from 
none but their own soldiers. Conrad, chancellor of the em- 
pire, who represented the emperor of Germany, might have 
been able to exercise beneficial power; but, weakened by 
disease, without experience in war, always shut up in his 
tent, he awaited the issue of the contest, and did not even 
deign to be present at the councils of the princes and 
barons. When the besieged had come to the determination 
to capitulate, they remained several days without knowing 
to which prince it would be most proper to address them- 
selves, and when their deputies came to the Christian camp, 
their propositions were heard in a general assembly, in which 
the spirit of rivalry, short-sighted zeal, and blind enthusiasm 
held much greater empire than reason and prudence. 

The Saracens, in their speech, confined themselves to im- 
ploring the clemency of their conquerors ; they promised to 
abandon the fort with all their wealth, and only asked life 
and liberty as the price of their submission. The suppliant 
attitude of the Saracens must have touched the pride of the 
Christian warriors ; religion and policy united to procure a 
favourable answer to the proposals that were made to them, 
and the greater part of the leaders were disposed to sign the 
capitulation. But some of the most ardent could not see 
without indignation that it was wished to obtain by treaty 
that which they must soon gain by force of arms. " It is 
necessary/* said they, *' that all our enemies should be struck 


viih tenor; and if the garriaon of this place periah by the 
aword, the affrighted Saracens will not dare to wait for ua 
either in Jeroaalem or the other cities still in their pos- 

As their advice was not adopted, these ardent and incon- 
siderate soldiers resolved to employ eveiy means to interrupt 
the negotiation, and whilst re-conducting the deputies to 
the fortress, said to them : '' Defend your$elve$, far if you 
surrender to the ChrUtiatu, you vnll all perish in tortures.^^ 
In addition to this, they addressed the Christian soldiers, 
and informed them, with accents of anger and erief, that a 
disgraceful peace was about to be concluded with the 
enemies of Christ. At the same time, such of the leaders 
as inclined towards peace, spread themselves through the 
camp, and represented to the armj that it was useless, and 
perhaps dangerous, to purchase bj new contests that which 
fortune, or rather Providence itself, offered to the Crusaders. 
Amon^ the Christian warriors, some yielded to the counsels ' 
of moderation, others were unwilling to trust to anything 
but the sword ; such as preferred victory to peace, ran to 
arms, and thev who accepted the capitulation, retired to 
their tents. The camp, in which some remained in inaction 
and repose, whi^t others prepared for battle, presented, at 
the same time, an image of peace and war : but in this 
diversity of opinions, amidst so strange a spectacle as the army 
then presented, it was easy to foresee that they would very 
soon be unable either to ti^at with enemies or fi^ht them. 

The capitulation was, notwithstanding, ratified by the 
principal chiefs and by the chancellor of the empire. The 
hostages the Saracens were to send were looked for in the 
camp, and the Crusaders fancied they could see the gates of 
the castle of Thoron thrown open to them ; but despair had 
all at once changed the resolutions of the Saracens. When 
the deputies to the Christian camp reported to their com- 
panions in arms what they had seen and what they had 
heard ; when they told them of the menaces that had been 
made to them, and of the divisions that existed among the 
enemies, the besieged forgot that their walls were in ruins, 
that they wanted both arms and provisions ; that they had to 
defend themselves against a victorious army ; and they swore 



rather to die than treat with the Crusaders. Instead of 
sending hostages, they appeared in arms upon the ramparts, 
and provoked the besiegers to renew the contest. The 
Christians resumed the labours of the siege, and recom- 
menced their attacks ; but their courage grew weaker ereiy 
day, whilst, in the same proportion, despair seemed to in- 
crease the bravery of the Mussulmans. The besieged 
laboured without intermission in repairing their machines 
and rebuilding their walls ; sometimes the Christians were 
attacked in the subterranean passages they had dug, and 
perished, buried under masses of loosened earth; whilst 
arrows and stones were constantly showered upon them 
from the ramparts. Frequently the Saracens succeeded in 
surprising some of their enemies, whom they carried alive 
into the place, and then slaughtered without mercy; the 
heads of these unfortunate prisoners were exposed upon the 
walls, and afterwards hurled by the n^hines into the camp 
of the Christians. The Crusaders appeared to have sunk 
into a sort of dejection or apathv; some still fought and 
remembered their oaths; but others remained indifferent 
spectators of the dangers and death of their brethren. 
Many added the scandal of the most depraved morals to 
their indifference for the cause of God. There might be 
seen, says an historian, men who had quitted their wives to 
follow Christ, forgetting all at once the most sacred duties, 
and attaching themselves to vile prostitutes ; in fact, the vices 
and disorders of the Crusaders were so disgraceful, that the 
authors of the old chronicles blush whilst they retrace the 
picture of them. Arnold of Lubec, after havmg described 
the corruption that reigned in the camp of the Christians, 
appears to ask pardon of his reader ; and, that he may not 
be accused of writing a satire, he takes care to add that he 
does not recall such odious remembrances to confound the 
pride of men, but to warn sinners, and touch, if possible, 
the hearts of his brothers in Christ.* 

Fame soon brought to the ears of the Christians that the 
kingdoms of Aleppo and Damascus were in arms, that Egypt 
had assembled an army, and that Malek-Adel, followed by a 

* After describing tlie oorrnptioii of the CroMden, Arnold adds :~- 
Yeniam non peto, non enim at qnempiam confimdam, hiec acribo, aed 
dilectoa in Chiiato moneo. 


nmnberlesB multitude of warriors, was advancing by forced 
marches, impatient to avenge his late defeat.* 

At this news, the leaders of the crusade resolved to raise 
the siege of Thoron ; and to conceal their retreat from the 
enemy, they did not blush to deceive their own soldiers. On 
the day of the Purification of the Virgin, whilst the Chris- 
tians were engaged in the offices of devotion, the camp was 
informed, by sound of trumpet, that it was intended to make 
a general assault on the morrow. The whole army passed 
the night in preparations for the fight; but, at break of 
day, they learnt that Conrad and most of the leaders had 
quitted the army and taken the road to Tyre. The men 
assembled in groups round their tents to ascertain the truth, 
and made inquiries of each other with the greatest inquietude. 
The blackest forebodings took possession of the minds of the 
Crusaders ; as if they had been conquered in a great battle, 
their only thought was flight. Nothing had been prepared 
for the retreat^ no order had been given ; no man saw any- 
thing but his own danger, or listened to any advice but that 
suggested by his fear ; some loaded themselves with every- 
thing valuable they possessed, whilst others abandoned even 
their arms. The sick and wounded dragged themselves 
along with pain in the steps of their companions ; such as 
could not walk were abandoned in the camp. The confusion 
was general ; the soldiers marched pele^mele with the bag- 
gage; they knew not what route to take, and m&ny lost 

* Oriental historiana say little of the liege of Thoron ; the continaator 
of Tabory expresses himself thna : — ''The Franks attacked Tebnyn 
(Thoron), and made breaches on Tarious sides. When Malek-Adel learnt 
this, he wrote to Melic-Alaziz, sultan of Egypt, to desire him to come In 
person ; * for if you do not come,' said he, ' we shall not be able to protect 
the frontier country.' Abziz then came with his troops. As to the Mus- 
sulmans who were in the castle, when they saw the breaches made in their 
walls, and they had no hope but defending themselves at the point of the 
tword, many among them surrendered to the Franks, and demanded a 
safeguard for themselves and their property, offering to deliver up the 
CBstle. The command was given to the priest Kandelard (Conrad), a 
German ; but a Frank of the Sahel (coast of Syria) said to the Mussul- 
mans, ' If you give up the fortress, these men will make you prisoners, 
and will kill you : preserve your own days then.' The Mussulmans left 
them as if to give up tlie fortress $ but when they had re-ascended, they 
persisted in defending themselves, and fought in despair, so that they kept 
the castle till the arrival of Melic-Alaziz at Ascalon." 


themfielves in the monntaiiui ; nothing was heard hut cries 
and groans, and, as if Heaven wished to denote its anger at 
this disorder, a frightful tempest came on ; fierce lightning 
rent the clouds, the thunder rolled in awful pe^s, and 
torrents of rain inundated the country.* In their tumul- 
tuous flight, not one of the Crusaders Tentured to turn his 
eyes to that fortress which, but a few days before, had offered 
to surrender to their arms : their terror was not abated till 
th^ beheld the walls of Tyre. 

The army being at last re-assembled, it became a general 
inquiry, "What was the cause of the disorder they had 
experienced ?" Then a new delirium took possession of the 
Christians; mistrust and mutual hatred succeeded to the 
panic terror of which they had been the victims ; the most 
grave sufipicions were attached to actions the most simple, 
and gave an odious meaning to words perfectly innocent. The 
Crusaders reproached each other, as with wrongs and proofs 
of treachery, with all the evils they had suffered or reared 
to suffer. The measures that an improvident zeal had coun- 
selled, as well as those that had been dictated by necessity 
and prudence, were the work of perfidy without example. 
The holy places, which so lately the Crusaders had contem- 
plated witn apparent indifference, now occupied their every 
thought; and the most fervent reproached the leaders with 
introducing none but profane views into a holy war ; with 
having sacrificed the cause of G-od to their own ambition, 
and with having abandoned the soldiers of Christ to the 
fury of the Saracens. The same Crusaders proclaimed 
loudly, that .Gk)d had been imfavourable to the Christians, 
because those whom he had appointed to lead the defenders 
of the cross, disdained the conquest of Jerusalem. Our 
readers may remember that after the siege of Damascus, in 
the second crusade, some Templars and Germans were 
accused of avarice, and of having sacrificed the zeal and 
bravery of the Christian warriors. Accusations quite as 
BeriouB were renewed on this occasion, and with equal 
bitterness. If we are to believe the old chronicles, Malek- 
Adel had promised several leaders of the Christian army a 

* Nee inter iata-deftiit spiritiu prooellK, tonitruis et conucationibas, et 
pluviarnm inandationibiui etgrandine de ooelo fugientet infettandft.— 
Amotd Lub, cap. 5. 


great niunber of pieces of gold to enga^ tbem to raifle the 
siege of Thoron ; and the same chronicles add, that when 
the Mussulman prince paid them the sum a£;reed, he save 
them nothing but false gold, — a worthy price of their cupidity 
and treachery.* The Arabian historians give no sanction to 
tliese odious accusations ; but such was the spirit of animosity 
which then reined among the Christian warriors, that they 
were judged with more severity by their brethren and com- 
panions in .arms than by their enemies. 

At length the rage of discord was carried so far that the 
Germans and the Syrian Christians would not remain under 
the same colours ; t^e former retired to the city of Jaffa, the 
ramparts of which they restored, and the latter returned to 
Ptolemaas. Malek- Adel, willing to profit by these dirisions, 
marched towards Jaffa, and offered uie Germans battle. A 
severe conflict took place at a short distance from the city. 
The duke of Saxony and the duke of Brabant both perished 
in the mSlee.f The Crusaders lost a great number of their 
bravest warriors ; but the victory was in their favour. After 
a triumph which was due to their arms alone, the pride of 
the Germans knew no bounds ; and they treated the Chris- 
tians of Palestine with the greatest contempt. ** We have," 
said they, " crossed the seas to defend their country ; and, far 
from taking any part in our labours, these warriors, without 
either gratitude or courage, abandoned us in the hour of 
peril." The Christians of Palestine, on their side, re- 
proached the Germans with having come into the East, not 

* Otlio de St. Blaise appears con?inced that the Templars had received 
money to betray the cause of the Christians. He eipresses himself as 
follows : — Nam sicnt fertur, quidam de militibus Templi, ^ paganis oor- 
mpti pecania, animam Conradi cancellarii, qal in hlU: ipsft obsidione pne- 
cipu^ clarebat, cum qaibusdam aliis inflezemnt, eisque auri maximo 
pondere collocato, obsidionem solvere persaasenint ; sioqne vendito 
Christo tradito paganis per castellam, sicut olim Jadseis, reoessemnt. 
Nee tamen de pretio taliter acquisito aliquod emoliunentum, sicat nee 
Jndas de triginta argenteis, oonsecuti sant. Si qnidem pretio cormpti, 
cormptam a pnganis aurum metallo sophistico, auro in soperfide oolorato 
receperunt ; sicque in opprobrinm sempitemum cam notA infamise merits 
consecttti sont. — See 0th, de St. Blaite, in the collection of Urtius. 

t We are astonished to find so little concerning this crusade in the 
continoator of WilUam of Tyre. He speaks of this battle and of the 
division among the Christians, but irithoat any ctrcamstanoe worthy of 
being oommunioafed to our readers. 


to figHt but to command; not to assist their brethren, but 
to impose a yoke upon them more insupportable than that 
of the Saracens. " The Crusaders," added they, " only 
quitted the West to make a pleasurable military progress 
into Syria ; they there found peace, but they left war behind 
them ; like those birds of passage tliat announce the season 
of storms and tempests." 

In these &tal divisions nobody had sufficient credit and 
power to restrain angry spirits, or reconcile discordant 
opinions. The sceptre of Jerusalem was in the hands of a 
woman ; the throne of God&ey, so often shaken, was desti- 
tute of support ; the empire of religion and law was every 
day fading away, and violence alone possessed the privilege 
of making itself respected. Necessity and force were the 
onlv powers that commanded obedience ; whilst the license 
and corruption that prevailed among the people, still called 
the people of Ood, made such frightful progress, that we are 
tempted to accuse contemporary authors and ocular wit- 
nesses of employing great exaggeration in their recitals. 

In this state of decline, amidst such shameful disorders, 
the most wise and prudent of the prelates and barons 
thought the best step they could adopt would be to give an 
able and worthy leader to the Christian colonies, and they 
entreated Isabella, the widow of Henry of Champagne, to take 
a new husband, who might consent to be their sovereign. 
Isabella, by three marriages, had already given Palestine 
three kings. They proposed to her Amaury, who had 
recently succeeded. Guy de Lusignan in the kingdom of 
Cyprus. An Arabian historian says that Amaury was a wise 
and prudent man, who loved God and respected humanity. 
He did not fear to reign, amidst war, troubles, .and factions, 
over the poor remains of the unfortunate kingdom of Jeru- 
salem, and came to share with Isabella the vain honours of 
royalty. Their marriage was celebrated at Ptolemais, with 
more pomp, say historians, than the posture of affairs 
warranted. Although this marriage might not remedy all 
the evils under which the Christians laooured, it at least 
afforded them the consolatory hope that their discords would 
be appeased, and that the colonies of the Franks, when 
better governed, might gather some firuit from so many 
victories gained over the infidels. But news which arrived 


from the West, soon spread freeh grief through the kingdom, 
and put an end to the barren exploits of the holy war. 
Amidst the festivities which followed the marriage and 
coronation of Amaury, the death of the emperor Henry VI. 
was announced.* The election of a new head of the empire 
would most probably produce a Tiolent contest in Germany ; 
and every one of the German princes or nobles then in 
Palestine, naturally turned his attention to that which he 
had to hope pr fear in the events preparing in Europe : they 
determined to return immediately into the West. 

The count de Montforfc and several other !French knights 
had but recently arrived in the Holy Land, and earnestly 
entreated the German princes to defer their return. The 
pope likewise, on receiving intelligence of the death of 
Henry VI., wrote to the leaders of the Crusaders, to im- 
plore them to finish their good work, and not to abandon 
the cause of Christ ; but neither the nrayers of the count 
de Montfort nor the exhortations of the pope could detain 
the Grermans, impatient to return to their country. Of so 
many princes who had left the West to secure a triumph to 
the cause of God, the ^ueen of Hungary alone was faithful 
to her vows, and remained with her knights in Palestine.f 
On quitting Syria, the Germans contented themselves vrith 
leaving a garrison in Jaffa. A short time after their depar- 
ture, whilst celebrating the feast of St. Martin with every 
excess of drunkenness and debauchery, this garrison was 
surprised and massacred by the Saracens.l Winter was 

* Arnold of Lnbec sayi that the news of the death of the emperor of 
Germany arriTed before the siege of Thoron ; bat it is not probable that 
the CraradeiB, who were suddenly so anxious to return to the West on 
account of the troubles that threatened Germany, should have under- 
taken the siege of Thoron after hearing of a death which must give rise 
to great events in Europe. Henry died in the month of September, 
1196 ; the siege of Thoron was begun nearly at the same time; thus the 
Crusaders could not be informed at that period of a circumstance which 
made them so suddenly renounce the holy war. 

t Le P^re Maimbourg bestows the greatest praise upon the widow of 
Bela. ** This example," says be, '* makes apparent that which has often 
been seen in other princesses, that heroic virtue is not at all dependent on 
sex, and that it is possible to make up for weakness of temperament and 
body by greatness of soul and strength of mind/' 

X Fuller, an English historian, speaks of this disaster at great length. 
As hif work is scarce, I will translate the passage from it rdative to tbii 

82 HI8T0BT 01* THB 0BU8ASX8. 

approaching ; neither partTy' conld keep the field ; discord 
reigned eqiudl^ among Christians and MusBulmans ; and both 
sides were desirous of peace, because they were incapable of 
carrjing on the war. The count de Montfort concluded 
with the Saracens a truce for three years. Thus terminated 
this crusade, which only lasted a few months, and was really 
nothing but a pilgrimage for the warriors of the West. The 
yictories of the Crusaders rendered the Christians masters 
of all the coasts of Syria ; but their precipitate departure 
destroyed the fruits of their conquests. The cities they had 
obtained were left without defenders, and almost without 

This fourth crusade, in which all the powers of the West 
miscarried in an attempt upon a little fortress of Syria, and 
which presents us with the strange spectacle of a holy war 
directed by an excommunicated monarch, furnishes the his- 
torian with fewer great events and a smaller number of 
great misfortunes than the preceding expeditions. The 
Christian armies, which made but a transient visit to the 
East, experienced neither the &mine nor the diseases that 
had proved so fatal to the former enterprises. The foresight 
and attention of the emperor of Ghermany, who had become 
master of Sicily, provided for all the wants of the Crusaders, 
whose exploits were intended to assist his ambitious projects, 
and whom he considered as his own soldiers. 

crnsadet in which the impartial reader will find the groaa mi a r epie a c nta- 
tions of a violent enemy of the CmBaden. ** In this war/' Bays he, ** we 
may contemplate an episcopal army which might have senred for a synod ; 
cnr, more truly, it offers ns a picture of the Church' milUatU, Many 
captains returned home secretly, and when the soldiers wanted to fight, 
the officers went away : what remained of this army fortified themselves 
in Jaffa. The feast of St. Martin, that great saint of Germany, fell at 
this time. This holy man, a German by birth, and bishop of Tours in 
France, distinguished himself eminently by his charity. The Germans 
changed his charity for the poor into excess for themselves, observing the 
11th of November in such a manner that it ought no longer to be osUed 
a saint's day, but a day of festivity. Drunkenness reduced th^m to such 
a state, that the Turks, falling upon them, killed more than twenty thou- 
sand of them. This day, which the Germans write in red letters in their 
calendars, takes its colour from their own blood, and as their camp was a 
slaughter-house, the Turks were their butchers. We may compare them 
to the oxen of St. Martin, which differ little from droves of drunkards.'' 
— Nieol. FuUeTy b. ii. chap. xvi. p. 133. [I really cannot see that old 
FsJler it aovery widely wrong.— Trana.] 


The Oennan wamon that composed the Christian anniet 
had not the requisite Qualities to secure the advantages of 
victory.* Always reaay to throw themselves blindly into 
danger ; quite ignorant that it is possible to ally prudence 
with courage ; Hstening to nothing but the violence of their 
own passions, and recognising no law but their own will ; 
obedient to leaders of their own nation, and despising all 
others ; full of an indomitable pride, which made them dis- 
dain the help of their allies and the lessons of experience^ 
such men could neither make peace nor war. 

When we compare these new Crusaders witb the com- 
panions of Eicharid or GK>dfrey, we find in them the same 
ardour for fight, the same indifi<&rence for danger ; but we 
find them very deficient in that enthusiasm which animated 
the first soldiers of the cross at the sight of the holv places. 
Jerusalem, which had never ceased to be open to the devo- 
tion of the faithful, no longer beheld witlun its walls that 
crowd of pilgrims which, at the commencement of the holy 
wars, repau^d thither from all parts of the West. The pope 
and the leaders of the Christian army forbade Crusaders to 
enter the holy city without having conquered it ; and they, 
who did not alws^s prove so docile, obeyed the prohibition 
without pain. More than a hundred thousand warriors that 
had lefl Europe for the purpose of delivering Jerusalem, 
returned to their homes without having entertamed perhaps 
one thought of visiting the tomb of Christ, for which they 
had taken up arms. The thirty ounces of gold promised by 
the emperor to all who should cross the sea to fight the 
infidels, veiy much increased the number of the Crusaders ; 
this was not the case in former expeditions, in which the 
crowd of soldiers of the cross was influenced principally by 
religious motives. More religion than politics had entered 
into the other holy wars ; in this crusade, although it had 
been directly promoted by the head of the Church, and was 
to a consideraole extent directed by bishops, we may safely 
say there was more of politics than religion. Pride, ambi- 

* TkU is the pictnre of the Germans in the chronicle of Usperg :-^ 
BelUcosi, cradeles, expensanim prodigi, rationis expertes, TolaDtatem 
pro jure hahentes, ensibos inTicti ; in nvUis, nisi hominibns suae gentts 
oonfidentes ; dadbas tuis fideliastmi, et qmbna vitam dtiiks qnam fidem, 
peases toicm. 


tion, jealousy, tbe most disgraceful passions of the human 
heart, did not make an effort, as in the preceding expedi- 
tions, to cover themselves with a religious veil. The arch- 
bishop of Mayence, the bishop of Hildesheim, with most of 
the other ecclesiastics who took the cross, attracted no ad- 
miration for either their wisdom or piety, or distinguished 
themselves by any personal quality. Conrad, the chancellor 
of the empire, on his retiun to Europe, was followed by 
the suspicions which had been attached to his conduct 
during the holy war ; and when, a long time after, he was 
slain by several gentlemen of Wurtzburg, who conspired 
against him, the people considered his tragical death as a 
pimishment from Heaven.* 

Henry VI., who had preached the crusade, only viewed 
this distant expedition as a means and an opportunity for 
increasing his power and extending his empire ; whilst the 
West put up prayers for the success of a holy war, of 
which ho was the life and soul, he prosecuted an impious 
war, desolated a Christian people for the purpose of subject- 
ing them to his laws, and threatened the empire of Greece.* 
The son of Tancred was deprived of his sight, and cast into 
prison, and the daughters of the king of Sicily were carried 
away into captivitv. Henry's barbarities were so excessive, 
that he irritated his neighbours, and created enemies in his 
own family. When he died, a report prevailed in Europe 
that he had been, poisoned ; the nations that he had ren<> 
dered miserable could not believe that so manv cruelties 
could remain unpunished, and they asserted that Provi- 
dence had employed the wife of the emperor to be his 
executioner, and to avenge all the calamities he had inflicted 
upon the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. At the approach 
of death, Henry remembered that he had persecuted Eichard; 
that he had detained a prince of the Crusaders in chains, 
in spite of the solicitations of the father of the faithfid ; 
and he hastened to send ambassadors to the king of 

* The littin and Greek chronicles hoth describe the cmeltieB of 
Henry YI. in Sicily. Nicetas, in his history, makes a long ennmeration 
of the panishments invented by the emperor of Germany, and says that 
Greece was on the eye of seeing all the evils that afiUcted Sicily fall upon 
her territory, when Henry YI. was removed, as if by an extraordinary 
inteiposition of Providence. 


England, cliaiged with the task of making him a solemn 
reparation for so great an outrage. Afler hia death, as he 
had been excommunicated, it was thought necessary to 
address the sovereign pontiff to obtain permission to burj 
him in the Holj I^d; and the pope coolly replied, that 
they were at liberty to bury him among Christians, out before 
they did so, they must offer up many prayers to mitigate the 
anger of God. 

In taking possession of the beautiful and rich territories 
of Italy by perfidy and violence, Henry prepared for that 
unfortunate country a series of revolutions, to be renewed 
from age to age. The odious war he had made against the 
family of Tancred, naturally gave birth to other wars 
injurious to his own family.* In removing so far from 
Grermany with his armies, Henry afforded opijortunity for 
the formation of powerful parties, which, at nis death, dis- 
puted the imperial ace^tre with some success, and at length 
^ave rise to a war in which the principal states of Europe were 
involved. Thus, whilst the other holy wars had contributed 
to maintain or establish public peace in Europe, this fourth 
crusade produced divisions among the states of Chrisfendom, 
without at all diminishing the power of the Saracens, and 
only served to introduce double and confusion into many 
kingdoms of the West. 

♦ "We shall see in the end that Sicfly cott Frederick II., but particnlarly 
young Conrad, the last prince of the family of Swabta, much embavaas- 
ment and many miafortanas. 


A.D. 1198—1204. 

** Christian troops/* says J. J. Bonsseau, in his '' Contrat 
Social," ^^are, as they say, excellent; I deny it; show me 
such ; fir my part, I Know no Christian troops.^* The events 
we have just related, and those we are about to make known, 
will, there is no doubt, suffice to refute this strange paradox 
of J. J. Bousseau. The author of the " Social Contract " 
does not dissemble, it is true, the objections that may be 
made to him from the history of the crusades ; but, ever 
faithful to his system, and taking no account of historical 
truths, he answers, that " the Crusaders, fir from heing Chris- 
Hans, were citizens of the Church ; that they fiuyht fir their 
spiritual country, which the Church had rendered temporal 
nobody knows how^ Strange abuse of reasoning, which con- 
foundb the sense of words, and refuses the title of Christians 
to those who fought in the name of Christ ! In representing 
the Crusaders as citizens of the Church, Eousseau doubt- 
less, meant to say that the popes were the origin of the 
crusades, and that the soldiers of the cross defended the 
temporal power of the popes. We at once reply that the 
crusades owed their birtli and growth to the religious and 
warlike enthusiasm that animated the nations of the West 
in the twelfth century, and that without this enthusiasm, 
which was not the work of the heads of the Church, the 
preachings of the Holy See would not have been able to 
collect a single army under the banners of the cross. We 
may further add that, during the holy wars, the sovereign 
pontiffs were frequently driven from Kome and despoiled of 
their states, and that they did not summon the Crusaders 


to tlie defence of tbe power or temporal country of the 
Church. Not onlj were the CruaaderB not alwajs liie blind 
instruments of the Holy See, but they sometimes resisted 
the will of the popes, and yet in their camps were no less 
models of valour united with Christian piety. No doubt, 
the leaders were oftep seduced by ambition, the love of 
glory, and a passion for war ; but religion, well or ill under- 
stood, acted upon the greater number; the Christian reli- 
gion which they defended, or believed they defended, by 
inspiring them with a desire for the blessings of heaven and 
a contempt for life, elevated them above all perils, and 
enabled them to brave death on every occasion. Here is 
the whole truth ; but this truth is too simple for such as 
disdain common routes, and cannot form a judgment upon 
human affairs without displaying all the pande of a proud 
and austere philosophy. I'or ourselves, wno are persuaded 
that true philosophy consists in studying the human 
heart and the spirit of societies, not in vain theories, but in 
the £uthful history of past ages ; we will not refute bril- 
liant sophisms by long arguments ; but to show in all ifcs 
splendour the vuour of Christian soldiers, we will content 
ourselves with pursuing our recital, and making known with 
impartiality the labours, the reverses, and the victories of 
the soldiers of the cross.* 

The departure of the G^erman Crusaders plunged the 
eastern Christians into grief and consternation ; the colonies, 
when left to their own resources, were only protected by 
the truce concluded between the count de Montfort and 
Malek-Adel. The infidels had too great a superiority over 

* Our ezoellent author has conoeiTed a kind of parental affection for 
the crusades, which makes him hlind to their delects. If we speak of the 
spirU of Christianity, certainly the philosopher of Geneva has the advan- 
tage of him, as his own pages show. Divested of their mundane motives, 
the crusades were little else than *' a savage fanaticism." There was, at 
least, as much religious merit in the Mussulmans, who fought to defend 
their ftith. A pmlosopher may deduce beaefidal results from the era- 
sades, particnlarly to Europe ; but he will be much pnuled to prove that 
that which we now consider a truly Christian spirit, influenced many of 
the warriors that carried them out, or the churchmen that promoted them. 
The Inquisition and the crusade against the Albigeois were of the same 
age, and the principal agents in them equally pmtitiited the nans of 
leBgkm in thoir horrors.— Tkams. 


their enemies to respect, for anj length of time, a treaty 
which they considered as an obstacle to the progress of 
their power. The Christians, threatened by new perils, again 
turned their eyes to the West. The bishop of Ptolemais, 
accompanied by several knights, embarked for Europe, in 
order to solicit the aid of the faithful. The vessel in which 
he embarked had scarcely quitted the port, when it was 
swallowed up by the waves, and the bishop and every person 
of his suite perished. Other ships, that set sail a short time 
afterwards, were surprised by the tempest, and forced to 
return to the port of Tripoli; so tha€ the prayers and 
complaints of the Christians of Palestine could not reach 
the ears of their brethren of the "West. Nevertheless, the 
afflicting news of the situation of the feeble kingdom of 
Jerusalem soon became generally known; some pilgrims, 
escaping from the perils of the sea, described, on their 
return, the triumphs and threats of the Saracens ; but in 
the state of Europe at that moment, nothing could be more 
difficult thah to induce nations to undertake a new crusade. 
The death of the Emperor Henry VI. divided the princes 
and prehites of Ghsrmany, and Phdip Augustus was still at 
war with Bichard of SSugland. One of the sons of Bela, 
king of Hungary, who pretended to take the cross, only 
assembled an army to agitate the kingdom, and get posses- 
sion of the crown. Amidst the fierce contentions that 
disturbed Europe, the Christian people seemed to have 
forgotten the tomb of Christ: a smgle man was touched 
with the misfortunes of the Mthful of the East, and was not 
without hope of alleviating them. 

Innocent III., at the age of thirty-three, had recently 
gained the suffira^ges of the conclave.* At a period of hie 
in which the paasions are generally masters, devoted to the 
most austere retirement, constantly occupied with the study 
of holy books, and ready at all times to confound new here- 
sies by the force of reason, the successor of St. Peter shed 
tears on being informed of his elevation ; but when seated 
on the pontifical throne. Innocent all at once exhibited a 
new character : the same man, who had appeared to dread 

* We have & life of Innocent III. which extends to the thirteenth year 
of his pontificate. TbiM Ufe» Gaia Innoemtii, is the more Talaable from 
bdng written by a contemporary. 


the Bplendour of a lofly position, became most eager, by any 
means, to increase his power, and dispWed all the amoition 
and inflexible obstinacy of Gregory VIL His youth, which 
promised him a long reign ; his ardour in the defence of jus- 
tice and truth ; his eloquence, his knowledge, his virtues, 
which drew upon him the respect of the faitmul, all united 
to giye birth to the hope that he would assure the triumph 
of religion ; and that he would one day accomplish the pro- 
jects of his predecessors. 

As the power of the pope was founded upon the promss 
of the faith and the noly enthusiasm of the Christians, 
Innocent gave his first attention to the suppression of the 
dangerous innovations and imprudent doctrines that began 
to corrupt his age and menace the sanctuary; he parti- 
cularly endeavoured to re-animate the ardour for the cru- 
sades : and, to master the minds of kings and nations, to 
rally all Christians, and make them concur in the triumph 
of the Church, he spoke to them of the captivity of Jeru- 
salem ; he pointed to the tomb of Christ, and the holy 
places pro&ned by the presence and the domination of 

In a letter* addressed to the bishops, the clergy, the 
nobles, and people of France, England, Hungary, and Sicily, 
the sovereign pontiff made known the will, the menaces, and 
the promises of God. " Since the lamentable loss of Jeru- 
salem," said he, "the Holy See has never ceased to cry 
towards Heaven, and to exhort the faithful to avenge the 
injury done to Christ, thus banished from his heritage. 
Formerly Uriah would not enter into his house, or see his 
wife, whilst the ark of the Lord was in the camp ; but now 
our princes, in this public calamity, abandon themselves to 
illegitimate amours ; immerse themselves in voluptuousness ; 
abuse the blessings that God has given them ; and pursue 
each other with implacable hatred ; only thinking of re- 
venging their own personal injuries, they never consider 
that our enemies insult us, saying : * Where is your Qody 
ioko cannot deliver himself out of our hands ? We have prO' 
faned your sanctuary^ and the places in which you pretend 

* We may consult, for the preachings of this cmsade, the letters of 
Innocent III. Some details will be foond in Roger de Uoveden, 
Matthew Paris, &e. &c. 


your tu^^sUtion had its hirth; toe have crushed the arme cf 
the 'Frenchy the English, the Germans, and subdued a second 
time the proud Spaniards : what remains then for us to dot 
to drive out those you have left in Syria, and to penetrate into 
the West to efface for ever both your name and your memory.' " 
Assuming then a more paternal tone : " Prove," cried Inno- 
cent, " that you have not lost your courage ; he prodigal, in 
the cause of God, of all you have received from him ; if, on 
an occasion so pressing, you refuse to serve Christ, what 
excuse will you he ahle to offer at his terrihle tribunal ? If 
. God died for man, shall man fear to die for his God P Will 
he refuse to give up his transitoiy life and the perishable 
goods of this world for him who lays before us the treasures 
of eternity?" 

Prelates were at the same time sent through all the coun- 
tries of Europe, to preach peace among princes, and exhort 
them to unite against the common enemies of God. These 
prelates, clothed in the fvJl confidence of the Holy See, were 
to engage cities and nobles to equip, at their own expense, 
for the Holy Land, a certain number of warriors, to serve 
there during two years at least. They promised remission 
of sins,* and the special protection of the Church t to all 
that would take up the cross and arms, or would contribute 
to the equipment and support of the soldiers of Christ. To 
receive the pious tribute of the faithful, boxes were placed 
in all the churches. At the tribunal of penitence, the 
priests were ordered to command all sinners to concur in 
the holy enterprise ; no error could find grace before God, 
without the smcere will of participating in the crusade; 
zeal for the deliverance of the holy places appeared to be at 
that time the only virtue the pope required of Christians, 
and even chauitv itself lost some of its value, if not exercised 
in promoting the crusades. As the Church of £ome was 
reproached with imposing upon the people burdens to which 

. * Villeluurdoniii expresses bimself thus when speaking of the indul- 
genoes of the pope : — For ce cU pardon fut issi grand, si s'en emenrent 
malt U cuers dcs gens, et mult s'en croisiirent, poroe que li pardon ne si 
grand. (The pardon was so great that the hearts of people were moved, 
and many took the cross because the pardon waa so great, or complete.) 
t Gretser baa spoken at great length of the indulgences gtaoted to uia 
~ I.— l>e(>«e»,voLiii.b.iLe.3. 


0he only appUed the tip of her ovm finger, the pope exhorted 
the heads of the clergy, and the clergy themselyes, to set an 
example of devotedness and sacrifices. Innocent ordered 
Ills gold and silver plate to be melted to defray the expensea 
of the holy war, and would allow none but vessels of wood 
and clay to be seen on his table whilst the crusade lasted. 

The sovereign pontiff was so satisfied of the zeal and 
piety of the Christians, that he wrote to the patriarch and 
king of Jerusalem, to announce to them the coming suc- 
cours from the West. He neglected nothing that could 
augment the numbers of the soldiers of Christ ; he addressed 
himself to the emperor of Constantinople, and reproached 
him with indifference for the deliverance of the holy places. 
The emperor Alexius endeavoured, in his answer, to show 
his zeal for the cause of religion ; but he added that the 
time of deliverance was not yet arrived, and that he feared to 
oppose himself to the will of God, irritated by the sins of 
the Christians. The Greek prince adroitly remmded him of 
the ravages committed in tne territories of the empire by 
the soldiers of Frederick, and conjured the pope to direct 
his reproofs against those who, feigning to labour for Jesua 
Christ, acted against the will of Heaven. In his corre- 
spondence with Alexius, Innocent Jll. did not at all conceal 
his pretensions to universal empu^e, and spoke in the cHSi- 
racter of sovereign arbiter of the kings of the East and 
"West. He applied to himself these words addressed to 
Jeremiah : " I have placed thee over the nations and over 
the kingdoms, to pull up and scatter, to edify and to plant." 
When speaking of the power of the popes and that of 
princes, he compared the one to the sun, which lights the 
universe during the day, and the other to the moon, which 
lights the earth during the night. 

The pretensions that Innocent put forth, and the haugh- 
tiness with which he sought to establish them, were, no 
doubt, injurious to the effect of his exhortations, and must 
have weakened the zeal of the Christian princes whom he 
wished to persuade to undertake the crusade. The prinCea 
and bishops of Germany were divided between Otho of 
Saxony and Philip of Swabia ; the sovereign pontiff pro- 
nounced strongly for Otho, and threatened with the thun- 
ders of the Church all who assisted the opposite party. In 

Vol. II.— 3 


the dissensions occasioned^bj this momentoufl affair, some 
availed themselves of the opportunity to gain the favour of 
the pope, and others to secure themselves Jrom the effects of 
his anger ; but all Germany being engaged in the quarrel, 
nobody took the cross. 

One- of the pope's legates, Peter of Capua, succeeded in 
re-establishing peace between Bichard Coeur de Lion and 
Philip Augustus. Bichard, who was desirous of conciliating 
the good- will of the Holy See, constantly promised to equip 
a fleet and collect an army to go and make war against the 
infidels. He proclaimed & tournament in his capital, in the 
midst of which he called upon the barons and knights to 
follow him into the East ; but all these demonstrations, the 
sincerity of which was very suspicious, remained unproduc- 
tive. It was not long before war again broke out tetween 
Prance and England; and Eichard, who on all occasions 
repeated his vow of combating the infidels, was killed in a 
petty quarrel with Christians. 

Phihp Augustus repudiated Ingeburge, daughter of the 
king of Denmark, to marry Agnes de Meranie. The sove- 
reign pontiff", in a letter addressed to the faithful, strongly 
censured princes who gave themselves up to illegitimate 
amours ; he ordered Philip Au^stus to take back Inge- 
burge, and as Philip refusecl to obey, the kingdom of France 
was placed under an interdict. During several months all 
religious ceremonies were suspended ; the pulpits of the 
Gospel ceased to give forth the holy word ; churcn bells and 
the voice of prayer were silenced; Christian burial was 
refused to the dead; the sanctuary was closed agaiast the 
faithful ; a long mourning veil seemed to hang over cities 
and plains, from which the Christian religion was banished, 
and which might almost be fancied to be invaded by the 
Saracens. Although such as took the cross were exempt 
from the interdict, the spectacle which France presented 
discouraged and saddened its inhabitants. Philip Augustus, 
irritated against the pope, showed very little disposition to 
revive their zeal ; and the clergy, whose influence might have 
had a powerful effect, had less reason to deplore the captivity 
of Jerusalem than the unhappy state of the kingdom. 

At length acur6 of Neuilly-sur-Maine began to fill France 
with' the mme of his eloquence and his miracles. Foulques 


had at first led a verj dissipated^o, but, touched with sin- 
cere repentance, he was not satisfied with expiating his 
irregukrities by penitence, but became desirous of bringing 
back all dinners to the paths of salvation, and trayelled 
through the provinces enoeavouring to awaken in the people 
a contempt for the things of this life. Gk)d, to try him, 
permitted that, in his early sermons, Foulques should be 
exposed to the ridicule of his auditors ; but the truths he 
uttered soon obtained a marvellous ascendancy over all that 
came to hear him. Bishops invited him to preach in their 
dioceses ; he received everywhere extraordinary honours, and 
both people and clergy flocked out to meet him, as if he had 
been an envoy of God. Foulques, sa^'s the chronicle of 
St. Victor, had nothing remarkable in his vestments or man- 
ner of living ; he travelled on horseback, and ate that which 
was gioen to him. He preached sometimes in churches, at 
others in public places, and not unfrcquently amidst the 
excitement of tournaments. His eloquence was simple and 
natural; safe, by his ignorance, from the bad taste of his 
age, he neither astonished his auditors by the vain subtleties 
of the schools, nor by an absurd mixture of passages from 
the Scriptures and profane quotations from antiquity. His 
words, from being unadorned by the erudition then so much 
admired, were the more persuasive, and found their way more 
• directly to the heart.* The most learned preachers ranked 
themselves among his disciples, and declared that the Holy- 
Ghost spoke by his mouth. Animated by that faith which 
performs prodigies, he enchained at his pleasure the passions 
of the multitude, and caused to resound, even in the palaces 
of princes, the thunders of evangelical denunciations.^ At his 
voice, all that had enriched themselves by fraud, brigandage, 
or usury, hastened to restore that which they had unjustly 

* The Chnmiele of St Victor speaks thus of Foulques de Neuilly :— 
£t verba ejus quasi sa^ttae potentis acutce, hominum prava cords 
consnetudine obdurata penetrarent et ad lacrymas et poenitentiam amo- 

t If we may believe contemporary chronicleB, Foulques addressed 
Ridiard Coeur de Lion, and said to him, — ** You have three daughterii to 
dispose of in marriage, Avarice, Pride, and Luxury." ** Well," replied 
Richard, " I give my pride to the Templars, my avarice to the monks of 
Citeanx, and my luxury to the bisbops." This anecdote is quoted by 


acquired ; libertines confessed tbeir sins, and devoted tbem- 
selves to the austerities of penitence ;• prostitutes, following 
the example of Madeline, deplored the scandal of their lives, 
cut off their hair, exchanged their gaudy apparel for hair- 
cloth and mean garments, and made vows to sleep upon 
ashes and die in retirement. In short, the eloquence of 
Eoulques of Neuillj effected such miracles, that contempo- 
raries speak of him as of another St. Paul, sent for the con- 
version of his age. One of them even goes so far as to saj 
that he dares not relate all he knows of him, fearing the in- 
credulity of men.t 

Innocent III. cast his eyes upon Foulqucs of Neuilly, and 
confided to him the mission that, fifty years before, had been 
8:iven to St. Bernard. The new preacher of the crusade 
himself assumed the cross at a general chapter of the order 
of Citeaux. At the sound of his voice, the zeal for the 
holy war, which had appeared extinct, blazed out again in all 
paits. In every city he passed through, the people crowded 
to listen to him ; and all who were in a condition to bear 
arms, took the oath to combat the infidels. 

Several holy orators were associated with Poulques of 
Neuilly; Martin Litz, of the order of Citeaux, in the 
diocese of B41e, and on the banks of the Bhine ; Herloin, a 
monk of St. Denis, took his cause through the still wild 
countries of Bretagne and the lower Foitou ; and Eustace, 
abbot of Flay, crossed the sea twice, to awaken the enthu- 
siasm and holy ardour of the provinces of England. 

These pious orators were not all endowed with the same 
eloquence ; but all were animated by the most ardent zeal. 
The profanation of the holy places, the evils suffered by the 
Eastern Christians, and the remembrance of Jerusalem, 
imparted the most lively interest to their discourses, and 

* The Latin history of the dioceae of Paris thus designates the pros- 
titutes — Multse mnliercttlse quse oorpore qiuestum faciebant. 

t Alberic, Rigord, Otbo of St. Blaise, James of Vitri, the manuscript 
chronicle Auiore Radui/o Coggehalenai^ the Chronicle of Brompton, and 
Marin Sanul, haTe left particulars of the life of Foulques. The EceU" 
tioMHeal History of Fleury, vol. zvi., has collected all the materials scat* 
tered about in the old chronicles. The Abb^ Lebeuf, in his History qf 
PariM^ quotes a L\fe of Foulques, 1 vol. in 12mo. Paris, 1620, which we 
have in Yam endeayonred to procure. 


touched all hearts.* Such was the spirit spread through 
Europe, that simply to mention the name of Christ, or to 
speak of the city of GK>d, held in captivity by the infidels, 
melted auditors to tears, and gave birth to transports of 
enthusiasm. The people everywhere evinced the same piety 
and the same feelings ; but the cause of Christ still wanted 
the example and courage of princes and nobles. As a cele- 
brated tournament had been proclaimed in Champagne, at 
which the boldest warriors of Prance, Germany, and Flan- 
ders were expected to be present, Foulques repaired to the 
castle of Ecry-8ur-Ai8ne,t which was the rendezvous of the 
knights. His eloquence procured attention to the complaints 
of Sion, even amidst the profane and violent amusements of 
chivah-y ; when Foulques spoke of Jerusalem, knights and 
barons neglected their jousts, the shivering of lances, or 
high feats of arms ; they became insensible of the presence 
of dameM and demoiselles, who accorded the prizes to valour ; 
and turned a deaf ear to the gay minstrels who celebrated 
la prouesse achefee et vendue au fer et a Vacier. All took 
the oath to fight against the infidels ; and it must have been 
surprising to see numerous defenders of the cross come 
forth from these warlike festivals that were so severely re- 
prehended by the Church. 

Among the princes and lords who enrolled themselves in 
the crusade, the most conspicuous were Thibault IV., count of 
Champagne, and Louis, count of Chartres and Blois, both 
relations of the kings of France and England. The father 
of Thibault had followed Louis VII. to the second cruBade, 
and his elder brother had been king of Jerusalem. Two 
thousand five hundred knights owed him homage and military 
service, and the nobility of Champagne excelled in all the 

* The monk Gunther gives some account of this sermon in the history 
he has left ns of the conquest of Constantinople. The monk Gunther 
bestows the warmest praise upon Martin Idtz, who was his abbot, and 
gives curious details of the sermons of the latter. He puts into the mouth 
of the preacher of the crusade a discourse in which we find the same 
reasons, and almost the same words, as in all the discourses of those who 
had previously preached holy wars ; it is probable that the people were 
more affected by the spirit that reigned in Europe than by the eloquence 
of the orators. — See Gunther, in the Collection of Canisius. 

t The castle of Eery was situated on the river Aisne, not fiff from 
Chateau Porcien. 


noble exercises of arms.* The marriage of Thibault with 
the heiress of Navarre brought to his standard a great 
number of warriors from the countries bordering, on the 
Pyrenees. Loids, count of Chartres and Blois, reckoned 
among his ancestors one of the most illustrious chiefs of the 
iBrst crusade, and was master of a province abounding in 
warriors of name. After the example of these two princes, 
the following distinguished leaders took the cross : — The 
count of St. Paul, the counts GJauthier and Jean de Brienne, 
Manasses de Tlsle, Benard do Dampierre, Mathieu de 
Montmorency, Hugh and Eobert de Boves, d* Amiens, 
Benaud de Boulogne, Geofirey de Perche, Bcnaud de Mont- 
mirail, Simon de Montfort, who had just signed a treaty 
with the Saracens, but was no less ready on that account to 
take an oath to fight against them ; and Geofirey de Ville- 
hardouin,t marshal of Champagne, who has left us an account 
of this crusade in the unadorned language of his time. 

Among the ecclesiastics, history names Nivelon de Ch6- 
risi, bishop of Soissons ; Gamier, bishop ^f Langres ; the 
abbot of Looz, and the abbot of Veaux-de-Cernai. The 
bishop of Langres, who had been the object of the censures 
of the pope, expected to find in the pilgrimage to the Holy 
Land, an opportunity of reconciling nimself with the Holy 
See. The abbot of Looz and the abbot of Veaux-de-Cemai 
were both remarkable for their piety and learning ; the former 
full of wisdom and moderation, the latter animated by a holy 
enthusiasm and an ardent zeal, which afterwards he but too 
strongly displayed against the Albigeois and the partisans of 
the count of Thoulouse. 

When the knights and barons returned to their homes, 
bearing a red cross upon their baldrics and their coats of 

• The aatfaor of a History of Jerusalem, who wrote in the twelfth 
century, says, when speaking of the Champenois: — Et qusedam pars 
Franciae, quae Campania dicitur, et cum regio tota studiis armornm 
floreat, haec qnodam militise privilegio singularius exceliit et pnecellit ; 
hinc martia puhes potcnter egressa, vires qaae in tyrociniis exercitaverat, 
in hostem ardentius exerit, et imaginaria bellorum prolusione proposita, 
pugnans animos aJ verum martem intendit. 

t The name of Villehardoain took its origin from a village or castle of 
the diocese of Troye, between Bar and Arcy ; the elder branch, to which 
the historian belonged, only subsisted to 1400 ; the younger, which ac- 
quired the principality of Achaia, merged in the family of Savoy. Dacange 
has left a very long historical notice of the genealogy of this family. 


mail,* they aroused by their presence the enthusinam of 
their yasszQs and brdthers in arms. The nobility of Flanders, 
after the example of those of Champagne, were anxious to 
prove their zeal for the recovery of the holy places. Baldwin, 
who had taken the part of Eichard against Philip Augustus, 
sought beneath the standard of the cross an asylum against 
the anger of the king of France, and swore, in the church of 
St. Donatien of Bruges, to go into Asia to combat the 
Saracens. Mary, countess of Flanders, sister of Thibault, 
count of Champagne, would not live separated from her 
husband ; and although she was still in the flower of her 
youth, and was several months advanced in her pregnancy, 
took an oath to follow the Crusaders beyond the seas, and to 
quit a home she was doomed never to see again. The 
example of Baldwin was followed by his two brothers,t 
Eustace and Henrv, count of Sarbuck ; by Canon de Bethune, 
whose piety and eloquence were held in high estimation, and 
by Jacques d* Avesnes, son of him who, under the same name, 
had made himself so famous in the third crusade. Most of 
the knights and barons of Flanders and Hainault also took 
the oath to share the labours and perils of the holy war. 

The principal leaders first met at Soissons, and afterwards 
at Compiegne. In their assembly, they gave the command 
of 'the expedition to Thibault, count of Champagne. It was 
decided also that the Crusaders should repair to the East by 
sea ; and, in consequence of this determination, six deputies 
were sent to Venice, J in order to obtain from the republic 
the vessels required to transport the men and horses. 

The Venetians were at that period in the highest state of 
their greatness and prosperity. Amidst the convulsions that 

* Complures tanta pontificii indalgentisAimi gratii illecti, et Fulconis 
penuasionibus excitati, rnbram crucem amiculo, quo dexter hnmerus 
tegitur, certatim consuere. — RhamnMivt de Bell. Constant, lib. i. 

t Rhamnusins gives a very minute list of the knights and barons that 
took the cross. Le Pere d'Outreman likewise gives a very extensive list. 
In the notes that accompany the history of Villehardouin, Ducange has 
left us many curious particulars upon the knights and barons of Flanders 
and Champagne who took {^art in this crusade. 

% Villehardouin has preserved the names of the six deputies. The 
Count Thibault named two : Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Miles of Brabant. 
Baldwin of Flanders, two others : Canon de Betbune, and Alard de 
Maqaeriaux ; and the count of Blois, two : Jean de Friaise and Gauthier 
de Goudonville. 


had .preceded and followed the fall of the Bomon power, these 
industrious people had taken refuge in the islands that 
border the extremity of the Adriatic Gulf; and, placed upon 
the waves, had directed all their views to the empire of the 
sea,* of which the barbarians took no heed. Venice was at 
first under the dominion of the emperors of Constantinople ; 
but, in proportion with the decline of the Greek empire, the 
republic acquired territory, strength, and splendour, which 
necessarily produced independence. Erom the tenth century, 
palaces oi marble had replaced the humble huts of fishermen, 
scattered over the island of the Eialto. The cities of Istria 
and Dalmatia obeyed the sovereigns of the Adriatic Sea. 
The republic, become formidable to the most powerful 
monarch, was able, at the least signal, to arm a fleet of a 
hundred galleys, which it employed successively against the 
Greeks, the Saracens, and the Normans. The power of 
Venice was respected by all the nations of the W est ; and 
the republics ot Genoa and Pisa in vain contended with her 
for the domination of the seas. The Venetians remembered 
with pride these words of Pope Alexander III., when the 
republic had protested against the emperor of Germany, 
who presented a ring to the doge, saying, " Espottse the sea 
with this ring, that posterity may know that the Venetians 
have acquired tJie empire of the waves, and that th^ sea has 
been subjected to them as a woman is to her husband,*' 

The fleets of the Venetians constantly visited the ports of 
Greece and Asia ; they transported pilgrims to Palestine, 
and returned laden with the rich merchandise of the East. 
The Venetians entered into the crusades with less eagerness 
and enthusiasm than other Christian nations, but knew well 
how to profit by them for their own interests ; whilst the 
warriors of Christendom were fighting for glorj% for king- 
doms, or for the tomb of Christ, the merchants of Venice 
fought for coimting-houses, stores, and commercial privi- 
leges ; and avarice often made them undertake that which 
other nations could not have been able to effect but bv an 
excess of religious zeal. The republic, which owed all its 
prosperity to its commercial relations, sought without scruple 

* Innocent III. said of the republic of Venice : Quse non agricultnris 
ihserrit, sed navigiis potius et merdmoniia estintenta. — See the first book 
of the Collection qf the Leltere o/JtmocefU, 

H18T0BT 01* THZ CBI7BiJ>£8. 40 

the friendship and protection of the Mussulman powers of 
Syria and Egypt; and often, even when all Europe was 
arming against the infidels, the Venetians were accused of 
supplying the enemies of the Christian nations with both 
arms and provisions. 

When the deputies of the Crusaders arrived at Venice, the 
republic had for doge Dandolo, so celebrated in its annals. 
Dandolo had for a length of time served his country in 
important nussions, and in the command of its fleets and 
armies ; now, placed at the head of its government, he watched 
over its liberties and the operations of its laws. His 
labours in war and peace, his useful regulations of the money 
currency, with his administration of justice and public 
security, deservedly procured him the esteem and gratitude 
of 'his fellow-citizens. He had acquired the power of mas- 
tering, by words, the passions of the multituae, even in the 
stormy msputes of a republic. 

Nobody. was more skilful in seizing a favourable opportu- 
nity, or in taking advantage of the least circumstance lor the 
furtherance of his designs. At the age of ninety, the doge 
of Venice exhibited no symptoms of senility but virtue and 
experience.* Everything that could save his country aroused 
his activity and inflamed his courage; with the spirit of 
calculation and economy which distinguished his compatriots, 
Dandolo mingled passions the most generous, and threw an 
air of grandeur over all the enterprises of a trading people. 
His patriotism, always sustained by the love of glory, ap- 
peared to possess something of that sentiment of honour, and 
that chivaLriic greatness of soul which formed the predominant 
characteristic of his age. 

Dandolot praised with warmth an enterprise that appeared 

* Nicetai says in his history, that Dandolo was styled ** The Prudent of 
the Prudent." 

t ScTcral historians say that Dandolo was hlind, and that the emperor 
Manuel Comnenus had deprived bim of sight during an ahode he made at 
Constantinople. One of his descendants, Andr^ Dandolo, says merely 
in his history that his ancestor was shortsighted (tfuu debiUr). The part 
of the story connected with Manuel Comnenus appears to he a fable. 
Historians differ as to the age of Dandolo : Ducange, at the period of the 
cru9ade, gives him ninety-four years. Gibbon does not doubt of his 
blindness, though he has no &ith in its having beea caused by Manuel ; 
but he^mtainly assigns to him actions that oonld scarcely be performed 



glorious to him, and in which the interests of his country- 
were not opposed to those of reKgion. The deputies re- 
quired vessels to transport four thousand five hundred 
knights and twenty thousand foot, with provisions for the 

. Chnstian army for nine months. Dandolo promised, in the 
name of the repuhlic, to furnish the necessary provisions and 
vessels, on condition that the Crusaders should engage to 
pay the Venetians the sum of eighty-five thousand silver 
marks.* As he was not willing that the people of Venice 
should he unconnected with the expedition of the French 
Crusaders, Dandolo proposed to the deputies to arm, at the 
expense of the repuhlic, fifly galleys, and demanded for his 
country half of the conquests that might be made in the 

The deputies accepted without hesitation the more in- 
terested than generous proposals of the doge. The condi- 
tions of the treaty were first examined in the doge's coun- 
cil,t composed of six patricians ; it was afterwards ratified in 
two other councils, { and at last presented for the sanction 
of the people, who then exercised supreme power. § 

A general assembly was convoked in the church of St. 
Mark, and when the mass of the Holy Ghost had been cele- 

' brated, the marshal of Champagne, accompanied by the other 
deputies, arose, and addressing the people of Venice, pro- 
nounced a discourse, the simple and unaffected expressions 
of which paint, better than we possibly can, the spirit and 
feelings of the heroic periods of our history.|| " The lords 

by a blind man. He does not believe the accounts of his Tery advanced 
age, saying, — *' It is scarcely possible that the powers of mind and body 
should support themselves at such an sge."—- Trans. 

* Weight of Cologne or Geneva. See the terms of the treaty. 

t The Venetians undertook, in the treaty, to distribute to each indi- 
yidual of the army of the Crusaders, six setiers of bread, com, wheat, or 
vei^etables, and half a pitcher (demi-eruche) of wine ; for each horse three 
bushels, Venetian measure, and water in sufficient quantities. We are 
not able to value the six setiers of com, or the half-pitcher of wine, having 
no means of ascertaining the Venetian measures. 

X The original treaty may be seen in the CAroniele of Andrew Dandolo, 
pages 325, 328 of vol. xii. of Mnratori. 

§ From the thirteenth century the aristocracy began at Venice to get 
the better of the democracy. — See Hittory of Veniee, by lAngier. 

[| Several authors have thought that Villehardouin could not write ; and 
they found their opinion upon what he himself aays, — ** J, who tUetated 


and barons of Prance, the most high and the most powerful, 
have sent ns to jou to pray you, in the name of GK>d, to 
take pity on Jerusalem, which the Turks hold in bondage ; 
they cry to you for mercy, and supplicate you to accompany 
them to avenge the disgrace of Jesus Christ. They nave 
made choice ot you, because they know that no people that 
be upon the sea have so great power as your nation. They 
have commanded us to throw ourselves at your feet, and not 
to rise until you shall have granted our request, until you 
shall have had pity on the Holy Land beyond the seas." At 
these words the deputies were moved to tears,* and feeling 
it no degradation to humble themselves in the cause of 
Christ,t they fell upon their knees and held up their hands 
in a supplicating manner towards the assembly of the people. 
The strong emotion of the barons and knights' communicated 
itself to the Venetians, and ten thousand voices replied as 
one, " We grant vour request.** The doge, ascendmg the 
tribunal, praised highly the earnestness and loyalty of the 
French barons, and spoke with enthusiasm of the honour 
God conferred upon the people of Venice in choosing them 
from amongst all other nations, J to partake in the glory of 
the most noble of enterprises, and associate them with the 
most valiant of warriors. He then read the treaty entered 
into with the Crusaders, and conjured his assembled fellow- 
citizens to give their consent to it in the forms ordained by 

this work.** Hower* that may be, the bistorj of Villehardomii has been 
pronoanced by learned men to be a model of the language that has 
ceased to be French. In the sixteenth century the language of the 
marshal of Champagne was already not understood ; his history was 
turned into modem French by Blaise de Vigenere towards the end of the 
sixteenth century ; this translation has itself become so old as to be now 
scarcely intelligible. The new version that Ducange made of it in the 
seventeenth century still bears an impression of antiquity, which preserves 
something of the naivete uf the original. We shall often have occasion 
to quote Viilehardouin ; but we shall only quote the ancient versions, and 
sometimes from a translation we have ourselves made, always endeavouring 
to preserve as far as possible the simplicity of the old language. 

* Gibbon says, "A reader of Viilehardouin must observe the frequent 
tears of the marshal and his brother knights ; they weep on every occasion 
of grief, joy, or devotion." — Trans. 

t Maintenant li six messagers s'agenenillent k la pies mull plorant.— 
Viilehardouin^ lib. i. 

t Persuasum omnes habent,solo8 Venetos maii, Galloa terri pnepo* 
tentes esse. — RAamn, lib. i. 


tbe laws of the republic. Then the people arose, and cried 
with an unanimous shout, " We consent to it^ All the in- 
habitants of Venice were present at this meeting ; an im- 
mense multitude covered the place of St. Mark and filled the 
neighbouring streets. Eeligious enthusiasm, love of coun- 
try, surprise and joy were manifested by acclamations so 
loud and general, that it might be said, according to the ex- 
pression of the marshal of Champagne, *' that the world toas 
about to engage in one common conflict. ^^ 

On the morrow of this memorable day, the deputies of the 
barons repaired to the palace of St. Mark, and swore on 
their swords and the Gospel, to fvHQi all the engagements 
they had made. The preamble of the treaty recaSed the 
faults and the misfortunes of the princes who had to that 
time undertaken the deliverance of the Holy Land, and 
praised the wisdom and prudence of the French lords and 
knights, who neglected nothing to assure the success of an 
enterprise lull of difficulties and perils. The deputies were 
charged to endeavour to cause the conditions they had 
sworn to to be adopted by their brothers in arms the barons 
and knightSjby the tchole of (heir nation, and if possible, by 
their sovereign lord the king of France. The treaty was 
written on parchment and sent immediately to Eome, to 
receive the approbation of the pope ; and, full of confidence 
in the future, as well as in the alliance they had contracted, 
the French knights and the patricians o^ Venice exchanged 
the most touching protestations of friendship.* The dog© 
lent the barons the sum of ten thousand silver marks, and 
the latter swore never to forget the services the republic 
had rendered to Jesus Christ. " There were then shed," 
says Villehardouin, "many tears of tenderness and joy." 

The government of Venice was a new spectacle for the 
French nobles ; deliberations of the people were perfectly 
■ unknown to them, and must have struck them with asto- 
nishment. On the other side, the embassy of the knights 
and barons could not fail to flatter the pride of the Vene- 
tians ^ the latter felicitated themselves upon being thus ac- 
knowledged as the greatest maritime nation, and, never 

* Vigen^re, the translator of Villefaardoain, informs us that in Ms 
time the treaty between the Venetians and the French, concluded in the 
month of April, 1201, was still preserved in the Chanceiy of Venioe. 


Bepanting tbeir glory firom their commercild interests, re- 
joiced at having made so advantageous a bargain. The 
knights, on the contraiT, only thought of honour and the 
cause of Christ ; and although the treaty was ruinous to the 
Crusaders, they bore back the news to their companions in 
arms with the greatest joy and satisfaction.* 

The preference given to the Venetians by the Crusaders 
naturally excited the jealousy of the other maritime powers 
of Italy ; thus the French deputies, upon going to Fisa and 
Ghenoa to solicit the aid of the two republics in the name of 
Jesus Christ, met with a cold reception and a perfect indif- 
ference for the deliverance of the holy places. 

The account of what had^ taken place at Venice, and the 
presence of the barons, did not fail, however, to arouse the 
enthusiasm of the inhabitants of Lombardy and Piedmont ; 
a great number of them took the cross and arms, and pro- 
mised to follow BonifiEice, marquis of Montferrat, to the Holy 

The marshal of Champagne, whilst crossing Mount Cenis, 
met Gauthier de Briexme, who had taken the cross at the 
castle of Eery, and was on his way to Apulia. He had mar- 
ried one of the daughters of Tancred, last king of Sicily. 
Pollowed by sixty knights of Champagne, he was going to 
endeavour to make good the claims of his wife, and conquer 
the kingdom founded by the Norman knights. The marshal 
Villehardouin and Gtiuthier de Brienne congratulated each 
other upon the brilliant prospects of their expeditions, and 
promised to meet again in tne plains of Egypt end S^a. 
Thus the future presented notlnng to the knights of the 

* The author of the History of the Republics 0/ Italy recapitulates thus 
fbe sum that waa due to the Venetians by the Crusaders :^ 

For four thousand fire hundred horses, at four\ |q ^^^v 

marks per horse / ^^'^^ 

For the knights, at two marks per knight 9,000 

For twenty thousand foot-soldiers, at two marks \ ^q ^r^ 

per soldier j 4U,uuu 

For two squires per horse, nine thousand squires. . 18,000 

Total marks 85,000 

Eigl ty-five thousand marks of silver are equal to four millions two 
htrndred and fifty thousand fnncs. 


cross but victories and trophies ; and the hope of conquering 
distant kingdoms redoubled their ardour. 

When the deputies arrived in Champagne, they found 
Thibault dangerously ill. The prince was so delighted at 
learning the success of their embassy, that, heedless of the 
disease that had confined him to his bed, he insisted upon 
putting on his armour and mounting on horseback ; but "this 
was great pity and misfortune," says Villehardotdn ; " for the 
malady increased, and slathered such strength, that he declared 
his will, took leave of his friends, and got no more on horse- 
back." Thibault, the model and hope of the Christian knights, 
died in the flower of his age, deeply regretted by his vassals 
and companions in arms. Hejleplored before the barons 
the rigorous destiny that condemned him thus to die without 
glory, at the moment that he was about to gather the palms 
of victory or of martyrdom in the plains of the East ; he 
.exhorted them to perform the vow he had made to God to 
deliver Jerusalem, and left them all his treasures to be em- 
ployed in this holy enterprise. An epitaph in Latin verse, 
which still exists, celebrates the virtues and pious zeal of 
Count Thibault, recalls the preparations for his pilgrimage,* 
and terminates by saying, that this young prince found the 
heavenly Jerusalemy when about to seek the earthly Jerusalem, 

After the death of the count of Champagne, the barons 
and knights who had taken the cross, assembled to choose 
another leader, and their election fell upon the count de Bar 
and the duke of Burgundy. The count de Bar refused to 
take the command of the Christian army. Eudes III., duke 
of Biurgundy, stUl mourned the death of his father, who had 
died in Palestine after the third crusade, and could not be 
induced to quit his duchv to undertake the pOgrimage to the 
East. The refusal of these two princes was a subject of 
scandal for the soldiers of the cross ; and contemporary his- 
tory informs us that they afterwards repented oi the indif- 
ference they had evinced for the cause of Christ.f The duke 

* Thibault was buried in the church of St. Stephen of Troyes ; hia 
epitaph finishes with these verses : — 

Terrenam quaerens, coelestem repperit nrbem ; 
Dum procul hcc potitur, obviat ille domt. 

t The History qf Burgundy by Court^pde and B^oilkt hat here oom- 


of Burgundy, who died within a few years, was desirous of 
tailing the cross on his bed of death, and, to expiate his 
fault, sent several of his warriors into Palestine. 

Tlie knights and barons then offered the command to 
Boniface, marquis of Montferrat.* Boniface belouged to a 
£imilj of Christian heroes ; his brother Conrad had rendered 
himself famous by the defence of Tyre, and he himself had 
already fought many times against the infidels : he did not 
hesitate in complying with the wishes of the Crusaders. He 
came to Soissons, where he received the cross from the 
hands of the cure of NeuiUy, and was proclaimed leader of 
the crusade in the church of Notre Dame, in the presence 
of the clergy and the people. 

Two years had passed away since theteovereign pontiff 
had ordered the bishops to preach the crusade in their 
dioceses. The situation of the Christians of the East be- 
came every day more deplorable ; the kings of Jerusalem 
and Armenia, the patriarchs of Antioch and the holy city, 
and the grand masters of the military orders, addressed day 
after day their complaints and lamentations to the Holy See. 
Touched by their prayers, Innocent again exhorted the faith- 
ful, and conjured the Crusaders to hasten their departure ; 
warmly censiuing the indifference of those who, after having 
taken the cross, appeared to be forgetful of their vow. The 
Christian father, above all, reproached the ecclesiastics with 
their tardiness in paying the fortieth part of their revenues, 
destined to the expenses of the holy war : " and you and we," 
said he, " and all persons supported by the goods of the 
Church, ought we not all to fear that the inhabitants of 
Nineveh should appear against us at the day of judgment, 
and pronounce our condemnation ? for they were made peni- 
tent by the preaching of Jonas ; and you, not only you nave 
not rent your hearts, you have not even opened your hands 
to succour Christ in his poverty, and repulse the opprobrium 
with which the infidels load him," The epoch of a holy war 

mitted a great error in making Eudes IIT. set out on the crusade, and 
take a part in the capture of Constantinople. 

* Villehardouin makes thus the eulogy of Boniface, marquis of Mont- 
ferrat :— '* The marquis Boniface is, as every one knows, a very valorous 
prince, and most esteemed for knowledge of war and feats of arms of any 
one at the present day living.'* 

%6 HI8I0BT 07 THS CBV8ABE8. 

beinff for Christiaiis a season of penitence, the sovereign 
pontiff proscribed, in his letters, sumptuousness in living, 
splendour in dress, and public amusements ; and although 
the new crusade had been first preached at the tournament 
of Eery, tournaments were in the niunber of diversions and 
spectacles forbidden to all Christians by the holy father 
dnring the space of five years. 

To reanimate the courage and confidence of those who 
had taken the cross, Innocent told them of the new divisions 
that had sprung up among the Mussulman princes, and of 
the scourges with which God had recently afflicted Egypt. 
" God," cried the pontiff, "has struck the country of Babylon 
with the rod of his power ; the Nile,* that river of Paradise, 
which fertilizes the land of the Eg}^tians, has not had its 
accustomed coiurse. This chastisement has given them up 
to death, and prepared the triumph of their enemies." The 
letters of the pope had the desired effect. The marquis of 
Montferrat went into France, towards the autumn of the 
year 1201, and the whole winter was devoted to preparations 
for the holy war. These preparations were unaccompanied 
by disorder, and the princes and barons refused to receive 
under their banners any but disciplined soldiers and men 
accustomed to the use of the lance and the sword. Some 
voices were raised against the Jews, whom they desired to 
force to contribute to the expenses of the holy war ;t but the 
pope took them under his protection, and threatened all who 
made attempts upon their lives or liberty with excommuni- 

* At the same time that Egypt experienced all the horrors of famine, 
Richard of St. Germain and the Chronicle of Fossa-Nova (see Mvratori) 
say that a great dearth was felt in Italy and Spain ; one of them adds that 
this year, 1202^ was known under the name of ** annas famis/' Mdzerai 
speaks of this famine, which was felt in France, and attributes it to the war 
then carried on between Philip and Richard. " The two kings," says he, 
*' pillaged the lands, palled up their vines, cat down the trees, cat the 
harvest whilst unripe, and destroyed more cities and towns in one day ' 
than had been built in ages. Famine followed these horrible ravages, 
says an 'author; so that many of the richest were reduced to beg their 
bread, and finding none to give it to them, ate gnu and burrowed in the 
earth for roots.'' 

t The pope was satufied with liberating the Crusaders from the 
usurious debts which they owed to the Jews. At tha period all interest 
upon money lent was considered usury. 


Before tbej left their homes, the Crusaders had to deplore 
the loss of the holy orator who had awakened their zeal and 
animated their courage. Poulques fell sick, and died in his 
parish of Neuillj. Some time hefore, loud murmurs had 
been heard respecting his conduct, and his words had ceased 
to exercise their accustomed power over the minds of his 
auditors. Foulques had received considerable sums of money 
destined for the expenses of the hol^ war, and as he was 
accused of appropriating these to his own use, the more 
money he amassed, says James of Yitri,* the more con- 
sideration and credit he lost. The suspicions attached to 
his conduct were not, however, generally credited. The 
marshal of Champagne informs us, in his histoi^, that the 
knights and barons were deeply affected by the death of the 
Gur^ of Neuilly. Foulques was buried in the church of his 
parish with great pomp ; his tomb, a monument of the piety 
of his contemporaries, attracted, even in the last century, 
the respect and veneration of the faithful.f 

With the earliest days of spring the Crusaders prepared 
to quit their homes, " and knew," says Yillehardouin, " that 
many tears were shed at their parting, and at taking leave 

* Jacques of Yitri, when Bpeakiog of the Baspicions and murmars that 
aroae against Foulques of Neuilly, expresses himself thus :— £t crescente 
pecunidf timer et reverentia decrescebant. 

t The Kbh6 Lcbeuf, in his History of the Diocete qf ParUf toI. vi. 
p. 20, gives us a description of the tomb of Foulques of Neuilly, which 
was still standing in the last century. '* The tomb of Foulques, the 
famous cut6 of this place about the year 1200, is in the nave, before the 
entrance to the choir, built of stone a foot and a half high. It is the 
work of the age in which this pious personage died. Foulques is repre- 
sented in relief upon the monument, clothed as a priest, his head bare, 
haying the tonsure on the top, and the hair so short that the whole of his 
ears is visible. A book is laid upon his breast, which he does not hold, 
as his hands are crossed above, the right placed upon the left. His 
chasuble and his manipule represent the vestments of his times. He has 
under him a kind of footstool, cut in the stone, and two angels in relief 
incense his head, which is placed towards the west ; for, after the ancient 
manner, his feet are pointed to the east, or the altar. It is not true, as 
has been said, that this tomb is incensed, nor has it any arms. He is 
called in the country Sir Foulques, and sometimes Saint Sire Foulques. 
There is a tradition that the canons of St. Maur formerly endeavoured to 
carry it away ; but the immobility of the car with which this story is 
adorned, tells us what degree of faith may be attached to it." M. TAbb^ 
Chastelain names his death, in his Univeraal Mariyrologjff as having 
taken place on the 2nd of March, 1201, and qualifies him as veneradh. 


of their relations and friends." The count of Elanders, the 
counts of Blois and St. Paul, followed by a great number of 
Flemish warriors and their vassals ; the marshal of Cham- 
pagne, accompanied by several Champenois knights, ad- 
vanced across Burgundy, and passed the Alps to repair to 
Venice. The Marquis Boniface soon jtfined them, brmging 
with him the Crusaders of Lombardy, Piedmont, Savoy, and 
the countries situated between the Alps and the Ehone. 
Venice also received within its walls the warriors from t*he 
banks of the Ehine, some under the command of the bishop 
of Halberstadt, and others under that of Martin-Litz, who 
had persuaded them to take arms, and still continued to 
animate them by the example of his virtues and piety. 

When the Crusaders reached Venice,* the fleet that waa 
to transport them into Asia, was ready to set sail : they were 
at first received with every demonstration of joy ; but amidst 
the festivities that followed their arrival,t the Venetians 
called upon the barons to redeem their word, and pay the 
sum agreed upon for transporting the Christian army ; and 
then it was that, with deep grief; the barons became aware 
of the absence of a great number of their companions in 
arms. Jean de Nedle, chatelain of Bruges, and Thierri, son 
of Philip, count of Flanders, had promised Baldwin to brinff 
to him,-at Venice, Marguerite, his wife, and a chosen band 
of Flemish warriors : they did not keep their appointment, 
for having embarked upon the ocean, they had directed their 
course to Palestine. Kenaud de Dampierre, to w^hom Thi- 
bault, count of Champagne, had left all his treasures to be 
employed in the voyage to the Iloly Land, had embarked with 
a great number of Champenois knights at the port of Bari. 
The bishop of Autun, Gilles, count of Ferez, and several 
other leaders, after having sworn upon the Gospel to join 
the other Crusaders, had set out from Marseilles, and others 
from Genoa. Thus half the Crusaders did not come to 

* Viilehardoain says, whea speaking of the arrival of the Crasaders at 
Venice, " No nobler people were ever seen, nor better appointed, nor 
more disposed to do something good for the honour of God and the 
seirice of Cbristendom.'^ 

t Upon the sojourn of the Crusaders at Venice, Ge$ta Tnnoeentii^ 
Villehardouin and Ducange, Sanuti, Herold, D'Outreman, Fleurr, HU- 
toire EceUtiOMiique, vol. zviii., TAbb^ Langier, &c. &c., may be con- 


Yenice, wliich had been agreed upon as tbe general rendez- 
vous of the Christian army : " by which,'* says Villehardouin, 
" they received great shame, and many misadventures after- 
wards befell them in consequence of it." 

This breach of faith might prove very injurious to the 
enterprise ; but what most grieved the princes and barons 
assembled at Venice, was the impossibility of fulfilling their 
engagements with the republic without the concurrence of 
their unfaithful companions. They sent messengers into all 
parts to warn the Crusaders that had set out, and to implore 
them to join the main army ; but whether most of the pil- 
grims were dissatisfied with the agreement entered into with 
the Venetians, or whether it appeared to them more con- 
venient and safe to embark at ports in their own vicinity, a 
very small number of them could be prevailed upon to repair 
to Venice. Those who were already in that city, were neither 
sufficiently numerous nor sufficiently rich to pay the pro- 
mised amount, or fulfil the engagements made in their names. 
Although the Venetians were more interested in the crusade 
than the French knights, as thev possessed a part of the cities 
of Tyre and Ptolemais, which they were going to defend, they 
were unwilling to make any sacrifice, and the barons, on 
their side, were too proud to ask any favour, or to solicit the 
Venetians to change or moderate the conditions of the 
treaty. Each of the Crusaders was required to pay the 
price of his passage. The rich paid for the poor ; soldiers 
as well as knights being eager to give all the money they 
possessed, persuaded, they said, that Gk)d was powerfm 
enough to return it to them a hundred-fold, when it should 
please him. The count of Flanders, the counts of Blois 
and St. Paul, the marquis of Montferrat, and several other 
leaders despoiled themselves of their plate, their jewels, and 
everything they had that was most valuable,* and only re- 
tained their horses and arms. Notwithstanding this noble 
sacrifice, the Crusaders still were indebted to the republic; a 
sum of fifty thousand silver marks. The doge then assembled 
the people, and represented to them that it was not honour- 
able to employ too much rigour ; and proposed to demand 

* Then might be seen so many beautifiil and rich vessels of gold and 
■Qver heaped np here and there, and carried to the hotel of the duke as 
part of their payment. — VilUAardoum. 


of the Crusaders the assistaDce of their army for the republic, 
until they could discharge their debt. 

The city of Zara had been for a length of time under the 
dominion of the Venetians ; but thinkmg the government of 
a king 'less insupportable than that of a republic, it had 
given itself up to the king of Hungary, and, under the pro- 
tection of a new master, braved the authority and menaces 
of Venice. After having obtained the approbation of the 
people, Dandolo proposed to the Crusaders to assist the re- 
public in subduing a revolted city, and promised to put off 
the entire execution of the treaty until God, by their 
common conquests, should have given them the means of 
fulfilling their promises. This proposition was received with 
much joy by the greater part of the Crusaders, who could 
not support the idea of being unable to keep their word ; the 
barons and knights deemed it prudent to conciliate the Vene- 
tians, who were so serviceable to them in carrying out their 
enterprise, and thought they did but little to pay their debts 
by an affair in which they should expend nothing but their 

Some murmurs, however, arose in the Christian army; 
many of the Crusaders recollected the oath they had tskmBi 
to fight the infidels, and could not make up their minds to 
turn their arms against a Christian people. The pope had 
sent the Cardinal Peter of Capua to Venice, to deter the 
pilgrims from an enterprise which he termed sacrilegious. 
" The king of Hungary had taken the cross, and by doing so 
had placed himself under the especial protection of the 
Church ; and to attack a city belonging to him was to declare 
themselves enemies of the Church itself." Henry Dandolo 
braved menaces and reproaches that he deemed to be unjust. 
" The privileges of the Crusaders,'* said he, " could not 
screen the guilty from the severity of laws divine and human. 
Crusades were not undertaken to promote the ambition of 
kings or protect rebellious nations.* The pope had not the 
power to enchain the authority of sovereigns, or turn the 

* The Venetians might have said, and no doubt did say on this ooca* 
rion, that the king of Hungary had taken the cross many years before, 
and had done nothing yet towards the fdlAlment of his yow. Andrew did 
not set out for Palestine till many years after the taking of Constan- 


Crusaders aside from a legitimate enterprise ; from a war 
made against revolted subjects, against pirates whose bri- 
gandage perilled the freedom of the seas, and jeopardized the 
safety of pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land." 

To complete his conquest oyer all scruples, and dissipate 
all fears, the doge resolved to associate himself with the 
perils and labours of the crusade, and to engage his fellow- 
citizens to declare themselves the companions in arms of the 
Crusaders. The people being solemnly convoked, Dandolo 
ascended the pulpit of St. Mark, and demanded of the assem- 
bled Venetians permission to take the cross. " Seigneurs,** 
said he to them, ^* you have made an engagement to concur 
in the most glorious of enterprises ; the warriors with whom 
you have contracted a holy alliance, surpass all other men in 
piety and valour. For myself, you see that I am laden with 
years, and have need of repose ; but the glory that is pro- 
mised to us restores me courage and strength to brave all the 
perils, to support all the labours of war. I feel by the 
ardour that lesuls me on, by the zeal which animates me, that 
nobody will merit your confidence, nobody will conduct you 
so well as the man you have chosen as head of your republic. 
I^ou will pennit me to fight for Jesus Christ, and allow my 
son to perform the duties you have confided to me, I will go 
and live or die with you and the pilgrims." 

At this discourse, his whole auditory was much aflected, 
and the people loudly applauded the resolution of the doge. 
Dandolo descended from the tribunal, and was led in triumph 
to the foot of the altar, where the cross was attached to his 
ducal cap. A great number of Venetians followed his 
example, and swore to die for the deliverance of the holy 
places. By this skilful policy, the doge completely won the 
Crusaders, and placed himself, in a manner, at the head of 
the crusade. He soon found himself sufficiently powerftil to 
deny the authority of the cardinal of Capua, who spoke in 
the name of the pope, and pretended to have a right to direct 
the holy war, in his character of legate of the Holy See. 
Dandolo told the envoy of Innocent, that the Christian army 
stood in no need of leaders to conduct it, and that the legates 
of the sovereign pontifi* ought to content themselves with 
edifying the Crusaders by their examples and discourses. 

Ijiis bold« free language very much astomahed the French 


barons, aocustomed to respect the will of the Holy See ; bul 
the doge, hj taking the cross, had inspired them with a con- 
fidence nothing could shake. The cross of the pilgrims was, 
for the Venetians and French, a pledge of alliance, a sacred 
tie, which united all their interests, and made of them, in a 
manner, but one same nation. From that time no one 
listened to those who spoke in the name of the Holy See,* 
or persisted in raising scruples in the minds of the Cru- 
saders. The barons and knights showed the same zeal and 
ardour for the expedition against Zara as the Venetians 
themselves. The army of the Crusaders was ready to 
embark, when there happened, says Villehardouin, " a great 
wonder, an unhoped-for curcumstance, the strangest that ever 
was heard of "t 

Isaac, emperor of Constantinople, had been dethroned by 
his brother Alexius. Abandonea by all his friends, deprived 
of sight, and loaded with irons, this unhappy prince lan- 
guished in a dungeon. The son of Isaac, namea also Alexius, 
who shared the captivity of his father, having deceived the 
vigilance of his guards and broken his chains, had fled into 
the West, in the hope that the princes and kings would one 
day undertake his defence, and declare war against i^ 
usurper of the imperial throne. Philip of Swabia, who had 
married Irene, the daughter of Isaac,:|: received the young 
prince kindly ; but he was not then in a position to under- 
take anything in his favour, being fully engaged in defending 
himself against the arms of Otho and the menaces of the 
Holy See. Young Alexius next in vain threw himself at the 
feet o^ the pope, to implore his assistance. Whether the 
pontiff saw m the son of Isaac only the brother-in-law of 

* The monk Guntfaer does not at all spare the YenetiaDS, and re- 
proaches them bitterly with having diverted the Crusaders from their holy 
enterprise. The pioas resolution of the leaders of the cmsade, says he, 
was subverted by the perfidy and wicked artifices of these masters of the 
Adriatic, — fraude et nequitiiVenetorum. 

t With the true spirit of an antiquary, M. Michaud delights in throwing 
a character of the "olden time'' into the language of Villehardouin, 
which is in a degree effective in the French, but is with much difficulty 
conveyed into English. — Tbans. 

X Irene, the daughter of Isaac, had been affianced to William, son of 
Tancred, king of Sicily ; being taken into Germany, with the rest of the 
&mily of Tancred, she had married Philip of Swabia. 


Philip of Swabia, then considered an enemj to the court of 
Borne, or whether all his attention was directed towards the 
East, he gave no ear to the complaints of Alexius, and seemed 
to dread countenancing a war against Greece. The fugitive 
prince had in vain solicited most of the Christian monarchs, 
when he was advised to address himself to the Crusaders, the 
noblest warriors of the West. The arrival of his ambassadors 
created a lively sensation at Venice ; the knights and barons 
were impressed with generous pity by the account of his 
misfortunes ; they had never defended a* more glorious cause. 
To avenge injured innocence, to remedy a great calamity, 
stirred the spirit of Dandolo; and the proud republicans, 
whose head he was, feelingly deplored the fate, of a fugitive 
emperor. They had not forgotten that the usurper preferred 
to an alliance with them one with the Genoese and Pisans ; 
it appeared to them that the cause of Alexius was their own, 
and that their vessels ought to bear him back to the ports of 
Greece and Byzantium. 

Nevertheless, as everything was prepared for the conquest 
of Zara, the decision of this business was deferred to a more 
favourable opportunity ; and the fleet, with the Crusaders on 
tef d, set sail amidst the sounds of martial music and the 
aSlamation of the whole population of Venice. Never had 
a fleet so numerous or so magnificently equipped been seen 
in the Adriatic Gulf. The sea was covered with four 
hundred and eighty ships ; the number of the combatants, 
horse and foot, amounted to forty thousand men. After 
having subdued Trieste and some other maritime cities of 
Istria that had shaken ofl* the yoke of Venice, the Crusaders 
arrived before Zara on the 10th day of November, 1202, the 
eve of St. Martin; Zara,* situated on the eastern side of the 
Adriatic Gulf, sixty leagues from Venice, and five leagues 
north of Jadera, an ancient Soman colony, was a rich and 
populous city, fortified by high walls, and surrounded by a 

* ViUehardouin and Gantlier give very circamstantial details of the 
siege of Zara, and of the debates that followed it. (See also, on the 
subject of these debates, the letters of Innocent.) The Abb^ Flenrf , in 
the sixteenth volnme of his EccletiasHcal HUioryt displays sufficiently the 
spirit that then actuated the Crusaders. M. Lebeau, in the twentieth 
volume of the HUtory f^f the Lower Empire^ and the Abb^ Laugier, in 
the second volnme of his History qf Venice, say a great deal concerning 
the siege of Zara. 


sea studded with rocks. The kin^ of Hungaiy had sent 
troops to defend it, and the inhabitants had sworn to bury 
themselves beneath the ruins of the place rather than 
surrender to the Venetians. At the sight of the ramparts of 
the city, the Crusaders perceived all the difficulty of the 
enterprise, and the party opposed to this war again ventured 
to mxirmur. The leaders, however, gave the signal for the 
assault. As soon as the chains of the port were broken, and 
the machines began to make the walls shake, the inhabitants 
forgot the resolution they had formed of dying in defence of 
their ramparts, and, filled with dread, sent deputies to the 
doge, who promised to pardon them on account of their 
repentance. But the deputies charged with the petition for 
peace, met with several Crusaders among the besiegers, who 
said to them, " Why did you surrender P you have nothing 
to fear fix)m the French ?** These imprudent words rekindled 
the war ; the deputies, on their return, announced to the 
inhabitants that all the Crusaders were not their enemies, 
and that Zara would preserve its liberty if the people and 
soldiers were willing to defend it. The party of the mal- 
contents, whose object was to divide the- army, seized this 
opj^ortunity for reviving their complaints ; the most ard^^ 
amongst them, insinuating themselves into the tents of the 
soldiers, and endeavouring to disgust them with a war which 
they termed impious. 

6uy, abbot of Vaux do Ceniai, of the order of Citeaui, 
made himself conspicuous by his endeavours to secure the 
failure of the enterprise against Zaro ; everj'-thing that coiild 
divert the march of the Crusaders from the route to the holy 
places,* was, in his eyes, an attack upon religion. The most 
brilliant exploits, if not performed m the cause of Christ, 
could command neither his esteem nor his approbation. The 
abbot of Cemai was deficient in neither subtlety nor elo- 
quence, and knew how to employ both prayers and menaces 
efiectively ; he had that influence over the pilgrims that an 

* Katona, in his HUtoire Criitque de^Rois deHongrie, expresses him- 
self with bitterness against the Crusaders, and relates facts very little 
fevonrable to the Venetians and French who laid siege to Zara. Arch- 
deacon Thomas, one of the historians of Hungary, does not spare the 
Venetians, whom he accuses of tyranny, and who made, he says, their 
maritime power detested by all the excesses of violence and injustioe. 


inflexible mind and an ardent, obstinate character always 
obtains oyer the multitude. In a council, he arose, and 
forbade the Crusaders to draw their swords against Chris- 
tians, and was about to read a letter from the pope, when he 
was interrupted hj threats and cries. 

Amidst tne tumult which followed in the council and the 
army, the abbot of Cemai would hare been in danger of his 
life, if the count de Montfort, who partook his sentiments, 
had not drawn his sword in his de&nce. The barons and 
knights could not, however, forget the promise they had 
made to fight for the republic of Venice ; nor cotdd they 
think of laying down their arms in presence of an enemy 
that had promised to surrender, aud who now defied their 
attacks. The greater the efibrts of the coimt de Montfort 
and the abbot of Cemai to interrupt the war, the more they 
conceived their honour and gloir to be engaged to continue 
the siege they had begun. Whilst the malcontents were 
giving vent to their scruples and complaints, the bravest of 
the army proceeded to the assault. The besieged, whose 
hopes were built upon the divisions amone their enemies, 
placed crosses upon the wfdls, persuaded that this revered 
j^gn would protect them more effectually than their machines 
of war ; but they were not lon^ in finding that there was no 
safety for them except in submission. On the 5th day of the 
sie^, without having offered their enemies any serious 
resistance, they opened their gates, and only obtained from 
the conqueror liberty and life. The city was given up to 
pillage, and the booty divided between the Venetians and 
the French. 

One of the results of this conquest was a fresh quarrel in 
the victorious army, in which more blood flowed than had 
been shed during the siege. The season being too far 
advanced to allow the fleet to put to sea, the doge proposed 
to the Crusaders to winter at i^ra. The two nations occu« 
pied different quarters of the city ; but as the Venetians 
had chosen the handsomest and moat commodious houses, 
the French loudly proclaimed their dissatisfaction. After a 
few complaints and many threats, they had recourse to 
arms, and every street became the theatre of a conflict ; the 
inhabitants of Zara beheld with delight the sanguinary dis- 
putes of flKnr conquerors. The partisans of the abbot of 
Vol. 11.-4 


Cemai applauded in secret tbe deplorable conseguenoes of 
a war they had condemned ; whilst the doge of Venice and 
the barons employed every effort to separate the com- 
batants. Their praters and threats at first had no effect in 
appeasing this homble tumult, which was prolonged to the 
middle of the night. On the morrow, all the passions that 
divided the army were near breaking out with increased 
fury. Whilst iaterring their dead, the Prench and Vene- 
tians renewed their disputes and menaces. The leaders 
were, for more than a week, in despair of being able to 
calm the irritated spirits of their followers, and reunite the 
soldiers of the two nations. Scarcely was order re-esta- 
blished when a letter was received from the pope, who 
disapproved of the capture of Zara, ordered the Crusaders 
to renounce the booty they had made in a Christian city, 
and to engage themselves, by a solemn vow, to repair the 
injuries they had inflicted. Innocent reproached the Vene- 
tians bitterly with having seduced the soldiers of Christ 
into this impious and sacrilegious war. This letter from 
the pope was received with respect by the French, with 
disdun by the Crusaders of Venice. The latter openly 
refused to bow to the decisions of the Holy See ; and td^ 
secure the fruits of their victory, began to demolish the 
ramparts of Zara. The French barons could not endure the 
idea of having incurred the anger of the pope, and sent 
deputies to Bome to endeavour to mitigate the displeasure 
of his holiness, and solicit their pardon, alleging that they 
had only obeyed the law of necessit3^ The greater part of 
them, though fully determined to retain all they had ob- 
tained, promised the pope to restore their spoils : they 
undertook, by a solemn act, addressed to all Christians, to 
repair the wrongs they had done, and to merit by their 
conduct pardon for past errors.* Their submission, far 
more than their promises, disarmed the anger of the pope, 

* We feel bound to present the text of this oath : — B. Fland. et Hain., 
L. Blesen ct Clar. et H. S. P. comites, Oddo de Chanliet, ct W. frater 
eJQ8, omnibas ad quos littene istte pervenerint, salatem in Domino. 
Notum fieri volamus, quod super eo quod apud Jaderam incunrimus ex- 
communicationem apostolicam, Tel incurrisse nos timemus, tarn nos quam 
auccessores nostros sedi apostolioe obligamtis, quod ad mandatum ejus 
satisfactionem curabimus exfaibere. Dat. apud Jaderam, anno Domini 
1203, mense ApriUs. 


who replied to them with mildneBS, and commanded the 
leaders to salute the knights and pilgrims, giving them 
ahsolution and his henediction, as to his children. He 
exhorted them, in his letter, to set out for Syria, without 
turning to the right or the Ifft ; and permittbg them to 
cross the sea with the Venetians, whom he had just excom- 
municated,* hv;t only from necesnty, and with oiiterness of 
heart. If the Venetians persisted in their disobedience, the 
sovereign pontiff advised the barons, when they arrived in 
Palestine, to separate themselves from a people reproved of 
God, iot fear of bringing a malediction upon the Christian 
army, as formerly Achan had brought down the divine 
wrath upon the Israelites. Innocent promised the Cru- 
saders to protect them in their expedition, and to watch 
over their wants during the perils of the holy war. " In 
order that you may not want provisions,'* said he to them, 
" we will write to the emperor of Constantinople to furnish 
you with them, as he has promised ; if that be refused to 
you which is refused to none, it will not be unjust, if, 
after the example of many holy persons, you take provisions 
wherever you may find them ; for it will be known that you 

B devoted to the cause of Christ, to whom all the world 
ongs."t These counsels and these promises, which so 
completely reveal to us the spirit of the thirteenth century 
and the policy of the Holy See, were received by the knights 
and barons as evidence of the paternal goodness of the 
sovereign pontiff: but the face of things was about again to 
change ; and fortune, which sported with the decisions of 
the pope as well as those of the pilgrims, was not long in 

* The pope adds, whilst speaking of the Venetians : " Excommaoicated 
as they are, they still remained tied by their promises ; and you are not 
the leas auliiorized to require the performance of them ; it is further a 
maxim of right, that in passing over the land of a heretic or an excom- 
manicated person, you may buy or receive necessary things from him. 
MoreoTer, excommunication denounced against the father of a family, 
does not prevent his household from communicating with him." 

t This permission to Hve by pillage, even in a friendly country, ii 
remarkable, particularly as the pope pretends to authorize it by examples 
from Scripture. — Fleury, Hist. Eecl. book Ixxv. 

Innocent, in giving the Crusaders permission to take provisions wherever 
they may find them, adds, ^* Provided it be with the fear of God, without 
doing injury to any person, and with a resolation to make reatitntiOD." 


giving an entirely new direction to the events of the 

Ambassadors from Philip of Swabia, brother-in-law of 
^roirng Alexius, arrived at Zara, and addressed the council 
of the lords and barons, assembled in the palace of the doge 
of Venice. " Seigneurs," said they, " the puissant king of 
the Eomans sends us to recommend to you the young 
prince Alexius, and to place him in your hands, under the 
safeguard of God. We do not come for the purpose of 
turning you aside from your holy enterprise, but to offer 
you an easy and a certain means of accompHshiiig your 
noble designs. We know that you have only taken up 
arms for the love of Christ and of justice ; we come, there- 
fore, to propose to you to assist those who are oppressed by 
unjust tyranny, and to secure at once the triumph of the 
laws of religion and humanity : we propose to you to turn 
your victorious arms towards the capital of Greece, which 
groans under the rod of an usurper, and to assure yourselves 
for ever of the conquest of Jerusalem br that of Constanti- 
nople. You know, as well as we do, tow many evils, our 
fathers, the companions of Gx)dfrey, Conrad, and Louis the 
Young, suffered from having left behind them a powerfii^ 
empire, the conquest and submission of which would have 
become a ^urce of victories to their arms. What have you 
not now to dread fi^m this Alexius, n^ore cruel and more 
perfidious than his predecessors, who has gained a throne by 
parricide, who has, at once, betrayed the laws of religion and 
nature, and whose only means of escaping from the punish- 
ment due to his crime is by allying hunself with the Sara- 
cens ? We will not tell you how easy a matter it woiild be 
to wrest the empire from the hands of a tyrant hated by his 
subjects, for your valour loves obstacles and delights in 
dangers ; nor will we spread before your eyes the riches of 
Byzantium and Greece, for your generous souls aim at 
nothing in this conquest, but the glory, of your arms and 
the cause of Jesus Const. 

" If you overturn the power of the usurper in order that 
the legitimate sovereign may reign, the son of Isaac pro- 
mises, under the faith of oaths the most inviolable, to main- 
tain, during a year, both your fleet and your army,, and to 
pay you two hundred thousand silver marks towaanls the 


expenses of the war. He will accompany you in person in 
the eonquest of Syria qr Egypt ; and if you think proper, 
will furnish ten thousand men, as his portion of the arma- 
ment ; and, moreover, will maintain, during the whole of his 
life, five hundred knights in the Holy Land. But that 
which must weigh above all other considerations, with 
warriors and Christian heroes, is that Alexius is willing to 
swear, on the holy Gospel, to put an end to the heresy 
which now defiles the empire of the East, and to subject the 
Gkreek Church to the Church of Eome. So many advantages 
bemg attached to the enterprise proposed to you, we feel 
confident you wiU listen to our prayers. We see in Holy 
Writ that God sometimes employed men the most simple 
and the most obscure to make known his will to his chosen 
people ; on this occasion, it is a young prince he has ap- 
pointed the instrument of his designs ; it is Alexius that 
Frovidence has commissioned to lead you in the way of the 
Lord, and to point out to you the road you must follow 
to render certain the triiunph of the armies of Jesus 

This discoiu'se made a strong impression upon a great 
'taiunber of the knights and barons, but it did not command 
the suffrages of the whole assembly. The doge and the 
lords dismissed the ambassadors, telling them they would 
deliberate upon the proposals of Alexius. Warm debates 
then ensued in the council ; those that had been averse to 
the siege of Zara, among whom the abbot of Vaux de Cemai 
was sttfl conspicuous, opposed the expedition to Constanti- 
nople with great vehemence ; they were indignant that the 
interests of Gtod should be placed in the balance against 
those of Alexius ; they addea thaf this Isaac, whose cause 
they were called upon to defend, was hjmself an usurper, 
elevated by a revolution to the throne of the Comnenas ; 
that he had been, during the third crusade, the most cruel 
enemy of the Christians, the most faithful ally of the Turks ; 
as for the rest, the nations of Greece, accustomed to the 
change of masters, supported the usurpation of Alexius 
without murmuring, and the Latins had not quitted their 
homes to avenge the injuries of a people that really did not 
call upon them for aid. 

The same orators further said, that Philip of Swabis 


exhorted the Crusaders to assist Alexius, but was content 
liimself with making speeches and sending ambassadors; 
thej warned the Christians not to trust to the promises of a 
young prince, who engaged to furnish armies, and had not a 
SLUgle soldier ; who offered treasures, and possessed nothing ; 
who, besides, had been brought up amongst the Greeks, and 
would, most likely, some day turn his arms against his 
benefactors. " If you are so sensible to misfortune," added 
they, " and impatient to defend the cause of justice and 
humanity, listen to the groans of our brethren in Palestine, 
who are menaced by the Saracens, and who have no earthly 
hope but in your courage." They moreover told the Cru- 
saaers, that if they wished for easy victories and brilliant 
conquests, they had but to turn their eyes towards Egypt, 
the population of which was at that moment devoured by a 
hombie famine, and which the seven plagues of Scripture 
yielded up to the arms of the Christians almost without 

The Venetians, who had cause of complaint against the 
emperor of Constantinople, were not at all affected by these 
arguments, and appeared much more inclined to make war 
upon the Greeks than the infidels; they were anxious to 
destroy the warchouses of their rivals the Fisans, now estab- 
lished in Greece, and to see their ships crossing the straits 
of the Bosphorus in triumph. Their doge nourished a keen 
resentment on account of some personal offence; and to 
inflame the minds of his compatriots, he magnified all the 
wrongs inflicted by the Greeks on his own country and tho 
Christians of the West. 

K ancient chronicles may be believed, Dandolo was im- 
pelled by another motive, which he did not avow before 
the Crusaders. The sultan of Damascus, made aware of a 
Christian army being^ assembled at Venice, and terrified at 
the crusade that was preparing, had sent a considerable 
treasure to the republic, to engage it to divert the Crusaders 
from an expedition inta the Last. Whether we yield faith 
to this account, or whetlier we consider it as a fable invented 
by hatred and party spirit, such assertions, collected by 
contemporaries, at least prove that violent suspicions were 
then entertained against the Venetians by the dissatisfied 
Crusaders, and particularly by the Christians of Syria, justly 

HI8T0BT 07 THE CBU8ADES. " 71 

irritated at not being assisted by the soldiers of the cross * 
Nerertheless, we feel bound to add that the majority of the 
Erench Crusaders stood in no need of being stimulated by 
the example or speeches of the doge, to undertake a war 
against the Gk-eet empire. Even those who opposed the 
new expedition the most strongly, as well as all the other 
Crusaders, entertained an inveterate hatred and a sovereign 
contempt for the Greeks ; and the discussions had only the 
more inflamed the general mind against a nation considered 
inimical to the Christians. 

Several ecclesiastics, having at their head the abbot of 
Looz, a personage remarkable for his piety and the purity 
of his manners, did not accord in opinion with the abbot of 
Yaux de Cemai, and maintained that there was much dan- 
ger in leading an army into a country devastated by famine; 
that Greece presented much greater advantages to the Cru- 
saders than Egypt, and that there could be no doubt that 
the conquest ot Constantinople was the most certain means 
of securmg to the Christians the possession of Jerusalem. 

* We find in the coatinuator of William of Tyre the following circum- 
stance :~Malek-Adel being informed that the Crusaders were assembling 
at Venice, conceived great uneasiness regarding their ulterior designs. 
He called together the heads of the Christian clergy at Cairo, and an- 
nounced to them that a new expedition was preparing in Europe, and that 
they must provide themselves with horses, arms, and provisions, llie 
bishops, to whom he addressed himself to obtain the succour of which he 
stood in need, replied that their sacred ministry did not allow them to 
fight. ** Well," answered Malek-Adel, ** since you cannot fight your- 
selves, you must provide me with men to fight in your place." He then 
demanded of them an account of the lands they possessed, and ordered 
that these lands should be sold ; and the money produced by this confis- 
cation was sent to Venice, to corrupt the leaders of that republic, and to 
engage them to divert the Crusaders from an expedition into Egypt or 
Syria. Malek-Adel at the same time promised the Venetians all sorts of 
privileges for their trade in the port of Alexandria. This singular cir- 
cumstance, related at first, as we have said, by the continuator of William 
of Tyre, is to be found also in Bernard T^etaurariuM, and in the Chronicle 
of St. Victor. Marin. Sanut, it lb true, parses it by in silence, and con- 
tents himself with saying that Malek-Adel went into Egypt and there 
collected a treasure. But it may be observed that Marin. Sanut was a 
Venetian, and had a good reason not to report all the details of a fact 
which was noi to the glory of his country. Bernard when relating it, adds : 
-^-Qualiter autem hujus rei efTectus fuerit in opinione paten ti multorum 
est, si legantnr quse Veneti cum baronibns ipsis peregerunt, detruhendo 
eos ad obsidionem Jadrsi et deinde Constantinopolim. 


These ecclesiastics were particularlj fascinated by the hope 
of one day seeing the Greek Church united to that of Some, 
and they constantly announced in their discourses the ap- 
proaching period of concord and peace among all Christiaa 

Many knights contemplated with satisfaction the prospect 
of the union of the two churches, likely to be brought about 
by their arms ; but they yielded further to motives not less 
powerful over their minds ; they had sworn to defend inno- 
cence and the rights of the oppressed, and tKey believed 
they performed their duty in embracing the cause of Alexius. 
Some of them, without doubt, who had heard of the vast 
wealth of Byzantium, might believe that they should not 
return from such a brUliant undertaking emptj handed ^ but 
such was the spirit of the lords and knights, that by far the 
greater number were attracted by the mere prospect of the 
perils, and still more by the wonders of the enterprise. 
After a long deliberation, it was decided in the council 
of the Crusaders that the proposals of Alexius should be 
accepted, and that the Christian army should embark for 
Constantinople at the commencement of spring. 

Before the siege of Zara, the report of the armament of 
the Crusaders, and of an expedition against Greece had 
reached the court of Byzantium. The usurper of the 
throne of Isaac immediately sought for means to avert the 
storm about to fall upon his states, and hastened to send 
ambassadors to the pope, whom he considered the arbiter of 
peace and war in the "West. These ambassadors were 
ordered to declare to the sovereign pontiff that the prince 
who reigned at Constantinople was the only legitimate 
emperor ; that the son of Isaac had no right to the empire ; 
that an expedition against Greece would be an unjust enter- 
prise, dangerous, and adverse to the great designs of the 
crusade. The pope, in his reply, did not at all seek to calm 
the fears of the usurper, but told his envoys that young 
Alexius had numerous partisans among the Crusaders, 
because he had made- a promise to succour the Holy Land 
• in person, and to put an end to the rebellion of the Greek 
Church. The pope did not approve of the expedition 
against Constantmople ; but, by speaking in the way he did, 
he thought that the sovereign who then reigned over Greece 


mijght be induced to make the same promiBeB as the fugiiiye 
prince, and would be more able to fulfil them ; he conceived 
a hope that thej might treat adrantageoufilj, without having 
recourse to the sword, and that the debates concerning the 
empire of the East would be referred to his supreme tribu- 
nal. But the elder Alexius, whether hb was persuaded that 
he had suffidentlj interested the pope in his cause, or whe- 
ther he deemed it most prudent not to appear alarmed, or, 
in short, whether the prospect of a distant danger could not 
remove his habitual mdolence, sent no more ambassadors, 
and made not the least exertion to prepare against the inva- 
sion of the waniors of the West. 

In another direction, the king of Jerusalem and the 
Christians of Palestine never ceased to give vent to their 
complaints, and to implore the assistance that the head of 
the Church had promised them. The pope, much affected 
bj theiir prayers, and always zealous for the crusade he had 
preached, renewed his efforts to direct the arms of the Cru- 
saders against the Saracens. He sent the cardinals, Peter 
of Capua, and Siffired, into Palestine, as legates of the Holy 
See, to revive the courage of the Christians, and announce 
to them the approaching departure of the army of Crusa- 
ders ; but when he learnt that the leaders had determined 
upon attacking the empire of Constantinople, he poured 
upon them the most bitter reprimands, and reproached them 
with looking behind them, as Lot's wife had done. " Let 
none among you," said he, " flatter himself that he may be 
allowed to invade or plunder the lands of the Greeks, under 
the pretence that the empire is not sufficiently submissive, 
or that the emperor has usurped the throne of his brother ; 
whatever crime he may have committed, it is not for you to 
constitute yoiurself the judge of it : you did not assume the 
cross to avenge the injuries of princes, but that of Grod.*' 

Innocent finished his letter without bestowing his bene- 
diction upon the Crusaders ; and, to frighten them from 
their new enterprise, threatened them with the maledictions 
of Heaven. The barons and knights received the rem on* 
strances of the sovereign pontiff with respect ; but did not 
at all waver in the resolution they had formed. 

Then the opponents of the expedition to Constantinople 
renewed their complaints, and employed no sort of modera- 



tion in their discourses. The abbot of Yaux de Cemai, the 
abbot Martin Litz, one of the preachers of the crusade, the 
count de Montfort, and a great number of knights employed 
every effort to shake the determination of the army ; and 
when they found they could not succeed, retolved to leave 
them, some to return to their homes, and others to take the 
route to Palestine. Those who abandoned their colours, and 
those who remained in the camp, mutually accused each 
other with betraying the cause of Christ.* Five hundred 
soldiers having thrown themselves on board a vessel, were 
shipwrecked and all swallowed up by the waves; many 
others, in crossing Illyria, were massacred by the savage in- 
habitants of that country. These perished cursing the am- 
bition and errors which had turned the Christian army aside 
from the true object of the crusade; whilst those who 
remaiued faithful to their standards, deplored the tragical 
death of their companions, saying among themselves : *' The 
mercy of the Lord has remained with us ; evU he to them who 
stray from the way of the ZordJ** 

The knights and barons regretted in secret that they had 
not been able to obtain the approbation of the pope, but 
were persuaded that, by means of victories, they should jus- 
tify their conduct in the eyes of the Holy See ; and that the 
father of the faithful would recognise in their conquests 
the expression of the will of Heaven. 

The Crusaders were upon the point of embarking, when 
young Alexius himself arrived at Zara. His presence 
created a fresh enthusiasm for his cause ; he was received 
amidst the sounds of trumpets and clarions, and presented 
to the army by the marquia of Montferrat,t whose elder 
brothers had been connected by marriage and the dignity of 
Ca)sar, with the imperial family of Constantinople. The 
barons hailed young Alexius as emperor, with the greater 
joy, that they hoped his future grandeur would be the work 

* The marshal of Champagne lets no opportunity escape for blaming 
^ith bitterness those who abandoned the army of the Crusaders. 

t A double alliance and the dignity of Caesar had connected the two 
elder brothers of Boniface with the imperial family. Reinier of Mont- 
ferrat had married Mary, daughter of the emperor Manuel Comnenus ; 
Conrad, who haj^efended Tyre before the third crusade, was married to 
Theodora Angela, sister of the emperors Isaac and Alexins. 


of their hands. Alexius took arms to break the chains of 
his father, and they admired in him a most touching model 
of Christian piety : he was about to combat usurpation, to 
punish injustice, and stifle heresy, and thej looked upon him 
as an envoy of Providence. The misfortimes of princes 
destined to reign affect us more sensibly than those of other 
men ; in the camp of the Crusaders, the soldiers talked over 
the story of Alexius among themselves, and they pitied his 
youth, and deplored his exile and the captivity of Isaac. 
Alexius, accompanied by the princes and barons, went con- 
stantly among the soldiery, and replied by demonstrations 
of the warmest gratitude to the generous interest the Cru- 
saders evinced in his favour. 

Animated by sentiments which misfortune inspires, and 
which not unfrequently terminate with it, the young prince 
was . lavish of vows and protestations, and promisea even 
more thim he had done bynis envoys, without thinking that 
he placed himself under the necessity of failing in his word, 
and drawing upon himself, one day, the reproaches of his 

The Crusaders, however, renewed every day their vow to 
place youne Alexius on the throne of Constiuitinople ; and 
Italy and the whole West rung with the fame of their pre- 
parations. The emperor of Byzantium appeared to be the 
only person ignorant of the war declared agamst his usurped 
power, and slept upon a throne ready to crumble from under 

The emperor Alexius, like the greater part of his prede- 
cessors, was a prince without virtues or character ; when he 
deposed his brother, he allowed the crime to be committed 
by his courtiers, and when he was upon the throne he aban- 
doned to them the charge of his authority. He was lavish 
of the treasures of the state, to secure pardon and oblivion 
for his usurpation ; and, to repair his finances, he sold jus- 
tice, ruined his subjects, and plundered the merchant snips 
that traded between Eamisa and Constantinople. The 
usurper scattered dienities and honours with such profusion, 
that no one thought himself honoured by them, and there r^ 
mained in his hands no true reward for merit. Alexius had 
associated his wife Euphrosyne with himself in the sovereign 
authority, and she filled the empire with her intrigues, and 


scandalized the court by tbe laxity of her morals. Under 
his reign the empire had been several times menaced by the 
Bulgarians and the Turks ; Alexius occasionallj visited the 
army, but he never faced the enemy. Whilst the Bulga- 
rians were ravaging his frontiers, he employed himself in 
levelling hills, and tracing gardens on the shores of the 
Propontis. Abandoned to a shameful effeminacy, he dis- 
banded a part of his army ; and fearing to be disturbed in 
his pleasures by the din of arms, he sold the sacred vases, 
and plundered the tombs of the Greek emperors, to purchase 
peace of the emperor of Germany, who had become master 
of Sicily. The empire had no navy left ; the ministers had 
sold the rigging and equipments of the vessels, and the 
woods that might have furnished timber for new ships, were 
reserved for ihe pleasures of the prince, and guarded as 
strictly, says Nicetas, as those formerly consecrated to the 

Such numbers of conspiracies never were heard of; under 
a prince who was rarely visible, the government appeared to 
be in a state of interregnum ; the imperial throne was as an 
empty seat, which every ambitious man aspired to occupy. 
Devotedness, probity, bravery, were no longer held in esteem 
by courtiers or citizens. Jfothing was deemed worthy of 
public approbation or reward but the invention of a new 
pleasure or the fabrication of a fresh impost. Amidst this 
general depravity, the provinces knew nothing of the em- 
peror but by the exaction of taxes ;t and the army, without 

* The army w&s no longer to be dreaded by the emperors as it had 
been in the early days of the empire ; but it was no more an object of fear 
to its enemies than to its master. A modem historian, M. Sismondi, 
finds in the government of the Greek empire a complete and incon- 
testable evidence of the natural and necessary effects of the worst of 
governments. The ancients were acquainted with scarcely any medium 
between liberty and despotism. The government of Constantinople had 
retained, up to the middle of the middle ages, all which characterized the 
despotism of the ancients, although we must allow that this despotism was 
sometimes tempered by religion and the influence of the patriarchs of 

t Lebeau, in his History t describes at length the decline of the Greek 
empire and the vices of the emperors. Gibbon, a much more enlightened 
obwerver, sometimes neglects important details connected with this period, 
and in his latter volumes, too often forgets the Greeks to speak of the 


diBciDline snd without pay, bad no leaden capable of com- 
manaing it. Everytbing announced an approaching revolu- 
tion in the empire ; and the peril was the greater from no 
one haying the courage to foresee it. The subjects of Alexius 
never dr^unt of obtruding truth upon the imperial ear ; 
birds, taught to repeat satires^ alone interrupted the silence 
of the people, and published from the roofs of houses, and 
in the high streets, the scandals of the court and the dis- 
grace of wie empire. 

The Ghreeks, at the same time superstitious and corrupt, 
still preserved some remembrances of ancient Greece and 
old Eome ; but these remembrances, instead of creating a 
noble, emulative pride, only nourished in their hearts a puerile 
vanity, and their history, of which they were so vain, only 
served to render more striking their own degradation and 
their empire's too evident decay. The voice of patriotism 
was never heard, and no influence was obeyed but that of 
the monks placed at the head of affairs of all kinds, who 
attracted and preserved the confidence of both people and 
prince by frivolous predictions and senseless visions. The 
Greeks wasted their time in vain disputes, which enervated 
their character, increased their ignorance, and stifled their 
patriotism. At the moment the fleet of the Crusaders was 
about to set sail, Constantinople was in a state of ferment 
with discussing the question whether the body of Jesus 
Christ, in the Eucharist, is corruptible or incorruptible; 
each opinion had its partisans, whose defeats or triumphs 
were, by turns, loudly proclaimed — and the threatened em- 
pire remained without defenders. 

The Yenetians and Erench lefl Zara, and the isle of Corfu 
was appointed as the place of meeting for the whole fleet.* 
When they landed on the shores of Macedon, the inhabitants 
of Duras brought young Alexius the keys of the city, and 
acknowledged him as their master. The people of Corfu 

barbarous nations of the East and West tbat had shared the wrecks of the 
Roman empire. 

* We may consult, for an account of this expedition, the marshal of 
Champagne, Gunther, and some passages of Nicetas. Rhamnosius has 
only made a pompous paraphrase of Villehardouin. Lebeau and the 
Abbe Laugier say a great deal of the events we are relating. This expe- 
dition of the Crusaders has been splendidly desoribed by the historian 


vere not tardj in following this example, and received the 
CruBadera as liberators: the acclamations of the Greek 
people, in the passage of tlic Latins, was a happy auguiy 
for the success of their expedition. 

The island of Corfu, the country of the Phoenicians, so 
celebrated by the shipwreck of Ulysses and by the gardens 
of Alcinoiis, afforded the Crusaders pasturage and abundance 
of provisions. The fertility of the island induced the leaders 
to remain there several weeks ; but so long a repose did not 
fail to produce evil consequences in an army supported by 
enthusuism, to which no time for reflection should nave been 
allowed, and, amidst indulgence and idleness, the complaints 
and murmurs of the siege of Zara broke out again. 

They learnt that Gauthier de Brienne had conquered 
Apulia and the kingdom of Naples. This conquest, 
effected in a few months, by sixty knights, inflamed the 
imagination of the Crusaders, and furnished the malcon- 
tents with a fresh opportunity for blaming the expedition to 
Constantinople, the preparations for which were immense, 
the perils evident, and tne success uncertain. " Whilst we 
are going," said they, "to exhaust the resources of the "West 
in a useless enterprise, in a distant war, Gauthier de Brienne 
has made himself master of a rich kingdom, and is preparing 
to fiilfil the promises he has entered into with us to aeliver 
the Holy Land ; why should we not demand vessels of him ? 
why should we not set out for Palestine with him ?" These 
speeches prevailed over a great number of the knights, who 
were ready to separate themselves from the army. 

The chief malcontents had already assembled in a secluded 
valley to deliberate upon the means of executing their pro- 
ject, when the leaders of the army were warned of tlieir 
plot, and immediately united all their efforts to prevent the 
latal consequences of it. The doge of Venice, the count of 
Planders, the counts of Blois and St. Paul, the marquis of 
Montferrat, and several bishops clothed in mourning habits, 
with crosses borne before them, repaired to the valley in 
which the malcontents were met. As soon as they, from a 
distance, perceived their unfaithfiil companions, who were 
deliberating on horseback, they alighted, and advanced to- 
waards the place of assembly in a suppliant manner. Tlio 
instigators of the desertion, seeing the leaders and prelates 


of the army coming thus towards them, suspended their 
deliberations, and themselves dismounted from their horses. 
The parties approached each other ; the princes, counts, and 
bishops threw themselves at the feet of the malcontents, 
and, bursting into tears, swore to remain thus prostrated till 
the warriors who wished to abandon them, haa renewed the 
oath to follow the armj of the Christians, and to remain 
faithful to the standard of the holy war. " When the others 
saw," says Villehardouin, an ocular witness, " when they saw 
their liege lords, their dearest relations and friends thus 
cast themselves at their feet, and, so to say, cry to them for 
mercy, they were moved with great pity, and their hearts 
were so softened, they could not refrain frx)m weeping, and 
they told them that they would consider of it together, 
{QuHU 9^ en aviseraient par ensemble) ." After having retired 
for a moment to deliberate, thev came back to their leaders, 
and promised to remain with the army until the beginning 
of autumn, on condition that the barons and lords would 
swear upon the Gospel to furnish them at that period with 
vessels to convey them to Syria. The two parties engaged 
themselves by oath to perform the conditions of the treaty, 
and returned together to the camp, where nothing now was 
spoken of but the expedition to Constantinople. 

The fleet of the Crusaders quitted the island of Corfu 
under the most happy auspices; the historians who have 
described its progress through that archipelago, so full of 
remembrances of antiquity, have not been able to refrain 
from employing the language of poetry. The wind was 
favourable, and the sky pure and serene ; a profound calm 
reigned over the waves ; three hundred vessels of all sizes, 
with their colours floating from their stems, covered an im- 
mense space ; the helmets and cuirasses of thirty thousand 
warriors reflected the rays of the sun ; now were heard 
Bounding over the waters the hymns of the priests, invoking 
the blessings of Heaven ; and then the voices of the soldiers, 
soothing the leisure of the voyage wdth warlike songs ; and 
the braying of trumpets and neighing of horses, mingled 
with the dashing of oars, resounded from the coasts of the 
Peloponnesus, which presented themselves to the eyes of the 
pilgrims. The Crusaders doubled Cape Matapan, known 
formerly as Tenara, and passed before the heights of Malea, 


without dread of the rocks so much feared by ancient navi- 
eators. Near Gape Malea thej met two vessels returning 
&om Palestine, in which were many Flemish pilgrims. At 
sight of the Venetian fleet, a soldier on board one of the 
two ships, slipped down a rope, and bade adieu to his com- 
panions, saying : ** I leave you all I lume on hoard, for I am 
^na with people who intend to conquer kin^doms,*^* 

The Crusackrs landed at several islands they fell in with 
on their passage ; the inhabitants of Andros and Negro- 
pont came out to meet Alexius, and acknowledged him as 
their emperor. It was the period of harvest, and the land 
presented, everywhere, a spectacle of the richest abundance. 
The enjoyment of a beautiful climate, the satisfaction at the 
submission of the Greeks, so many riches, so many wonders, 
80 many unknown regions, all daily increased the enthusiasm 
of the Crusaders. At length the fleet arrived at the entrance 
of the Bosphorus, and cast anchor in the port of St. Stephen, 
three leagues from the capital of the Q-reek empire. 

Then the city of Constantinople, of which they were 
about to effect the conquest, broke full upon the view of 
the Crusaders ;t bathed on the south by the waves of the 
Fropontis, on the east by the Bosphorus, and on the north 
by the gulf that serves as its port, it presented a spectacle 
at once magnificent and formidable. A double enclosure of 
walls surroimded it in a circumference of more than seven 
leagues ; a vast number of splendid buildings, whose roofs 
towered above the ramparts, appeared to proclaim the queen 
of cities. The shores of the Bosphorus to the Euxine and 

* ViUebardouin. 

t It would be diflBcult to giye a very exact idea of the city of Constan- 
tinople as it was at the period of this crusade. Among the trayellers who 
have described this capital at a time nearer than onr own to the middle 
ages, we onght to remark Peter Gilles and Grelot, who saw Constanti- 
nople, the one in the reign of Francis I., and the other in the reign of 
Louis XIV. Their description has furnished those who came after ihcm 
with many documents. Revolutions, wars, the Turks, and fires change 
every day the aspect of this city, which was already much altered in the 
times of the travellers we have named. Ducange, in his Christiana Con' 
BtanitnopoUat and Banduri, in his Trnperium Orieniale, have collected all 
the information of the old travellers and the Greek historians. Among 
modem travellers Constantinople, Ancient and Modern^ by the English- 
man Dallaway, and Le Voyage de la ProponOde, by M. Lechavalier, may 
bo ooDsolted with advantage. 


to the HeUespont, resembled an immense faubourg, or one 
continued line of gardens. The cities of Chalcedon and 
Scutari, built on the Asiatic shore, and Galata, placed at 
the extremity of the gulf, appeared in the distance, and 
crowned the immense and magnificent picture which lay 
before the warlike hosts of the Crusaders. 

Constantinople, situated between Europe and Asia, be- 
tween the Archipelago and the Black Sea, joins together the 
two seas and the two continents. In the times of its splendour, 
it held at its pleasure the gates of commerce open or shut ; 
its port, which received the vessels of all the nations of the 
world, deserved to be termed by the Greeks, the golden ham, 
or the ham of abundance. Like ancient Eome, Constantinople 
extended over seven ascents, and, like the citv of Eomulus, 
it sometimes bore the name of the city of the seven hills ; 
in the times of the crusades, its walls and its towers were 
compared to those of Babylon ; its deep ditches were con- 
verted at will into a large and rapid lake, and the city could, 
at the least signal, be surrounded by waters, and separated 
from the continent. 

The monarch who founded it reigned over all the known 
nations of the world, and in the execution of his designs he 
had the advantage of making the arts and sciences of Greece 
concur with the genius and power of the Bomans. Not 
content with employing the beautiful marbles of the isles of 
the Archipelago, he caused materials to be transported from 
the extremities of Europe and Asia; all the cities of the 
Boman empire, Athens, and Borne itself, were spoiled of 
their ornaments to embellish the new citv of the Caesars. 
Several of the successors of Constantine had repaired the 
edifices that were crumbling into ruins, and had erected 
iresh monuments in Constfmtinople, which in its temples, 
upon its public places, and around the walls, everywhere re- 
called the memory of twenty glorious reigns. The city was 
divided into fourteen quarters ; it had thirty-two gates ; it 
contained within its bosom circuses of immense extent, five 
hundred churches, among which St. Sophia claimed atten- 
tion as one of the wonders of the world ; and five palaces, 
which themselves looked like cities in the midst of the great 
city. More fortunate than its rival Bome, the city of Con- 
stantinu had never beheld tho barbarians within its walls ; it 


preserved with its language' the depository of the master- 
pieces of antiquity, and the accumulated nches of the East 
and the West. 

It would be difficult to paint the enthusiasm, the fear, the 
surprise that took possession of the minds of the Crusaders 
at the aspect of Constantinople.* The leaders landed, and 
passed one night in the abbey of St. Stephen. This night 
was employed in anxious deliberation upon what they had to 
do ; at one time they resolved to land upon the isles ; then 
they determined to make a descent upon the continent. In 
the very same instant thev drew back in terror and gave 
themselves up to a wild joy; they could not come to any 
fixed determmation, but changed their plans and their pro- 
jects a thousand times. At daybreak Dandolo, Bonitace, 
JBaldwin, and the count de Blois ordered all the standards 
of the army to be unfurled ; the escutcheons and coats of 
arms of the counts and knights were ranged along the ves- 
sels,t to display the military pomp of the West and recall to 
the warriors the valour of their ancestors. The sifi;nal was 
given to the fleet, which entered into the canal, and, driven 
on by a favourable wind, passed close to the walls of Con- 
stantinople. An immense population,J who only the day 
before were ignorant of the arrival of the Latins, crowded 
the ramparts and covered the shore. The warriors of the 
West, clad in complete armour,§ stood erect upon the decks 

* Haling cast anchor, sncli as had never been there before began to 
contemplate this beantiful and magnificent city, the equal to which they 
thought could not be found in the whole world. When they perceived 
those high walls and large towers so near to each other, with which it was 
furnished all round, and those rich and superb palaces and churches rising 
above all, and in such great number, that they could not easily believe 
they saw them with their eyes ; together with the fine situation of the 
city, in its length and breadth, which of all other cities was the sove* 
reign, &c. — Villehardouin. 

t Ducange, in his observations upon Villehardouin, gives a very 
learned note upon the arms and escutcheons which the warriors of the 
middle ages caused to be ranged on board their vessels, and which served 
them as battlements to shelter them from all the arrows of the enemy. 

X The Greek historian Nicetas says, that the navigation of the Cru- 
saders had been so favourable and so rapid, ** that they arrived in the 
port of St. Stephen without being perceived by anybody." 

% Nioetas, speaking of the Crusaders, says they were almost all as tall 
as their spears. 


of their Teasels ;* some stones and arrows were launched from 
the towers and fell upon the ships : *' there was no heart/' 
says Yillehardouin, " so bold as not to be moved ; for never 
was so great an affair undertaken/' Every warrior turned his 
eye towards his sword, thinking the time was come in which 
to make use of it. The Crusaders fimcied that in the crowd of 
spectators they beheld the defenders of Constantinople ; but 
the capital of the empire was only defended by the memory 
of its past glory, and oy the respect of the nations ignorant 
of its wealmess. Of true soldiers the imperial arzny only 
mustered two thousand Fisans, who despised the Greeks, 
and the troop of Varangians, mercenary soldiers from the 
northern parts of Europe, with whose origin and country the 
Greeks themselves were scarcely acquainted.t 

The Crusaders made a descent upon the Asiatic shore of 
tlie Bosphorus, pillaged the city of Chalcedon, and esta- 
blished themselves in the palace and gardens in which the 
emperor Alexius had so long forgotten his own dangers and 
those of his empire. At the approach of the Venetian fleet, 
this prince had retreated to Constantinople, where, like the 

* Nioetas says, among the Venetian yeaaela there was one so Urge that 
it was caUed the World. 

t The Varangians, who were in the serTioe of the Greek emperors, 
have given rise to many discussions among the learned. Villehardouin 
says that the Varangians were English and Danes. The count de St. 
Pol, in a letter written from Constantinople, calls them English, Livo- 
nians, Dacians. Other historians call them Celts, Germans. The word 
Varaogians appears to be taken from an English word warinfft* which 
means wsrrior ; this word is met with in the Danish, and several other 
tongues of the north of Eorope. Ducange thinks the Varangians came 
from Danish England, a small province of Denmark, between Jutland 
and Holstein. M. Malte Bnin, in the notes that accompany the History 
qfRutna, by L^vesqne, thinks the Varangians drew their recruits from 
Scandinavia ; that some came from Sweden by Norvogorod and Kiow, 
others from Norway and Denmark by the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. 
We still possess a dissertation upon the Varangians by M. de Villoison, 
in which we find more learning than criticism . The most probable opinion 
is that of Ducange and M. Malte Brun. We have but one observation 
to make, which is, that it is probable the Varangians were not members of 
the Roman church ; if they followed the Greek religion, may we not 
believe that they belonged to the nations of the North, among whom it 
had been introduced ? 

■ An Englishman is rather at a loss to tell where our author finds this 
word. Jolmson derives war from irerre— old Dutch. — ^T&ans. 

84 niStCOST OT the CSViJlDES. 

last king of Babylon, he continued to live amidst pleasures 
and festiyities, without reflecting that he had been judged, 
and that his hour was nearly come. His courtiers, in the 
intoxication of the banquet, celebrated his power and pro- 
claimed him invincible ; amidst the pomp that surrounded 
him, and which appeared to him a rampart against the 
attacks of his enemies, he, in his speeches, insulted the sim- 
plicity of the Latins, and believed he had conquered them 
because he had called them barbarians. 

AVhen he saw the Crusaders masters of his palace and gar- 
dens, he began to entertain some degree of fear, and sent an 
Italian named Eossi, with orders to salute the lords and 
barons. "The emperor my master," said the envoy of 
Alexius, " knows that you are the most puissant and most 
noble princes among those who do not wear crowns ; but he 
is astonished that you should have come to bring war into a 
Christian empire. Rumour proclaims that your design is to 
deliver the Holy Land from the yoke of the Saracens ; the 
emperor applauds your zeal, and solicits the honour of being 
associated with your enterprise ; he is ready to assist you 
with all his power. But it* you do not quit his states, he 
shall feel obliged to direct against you the forces he would 
willingly have employed in your cause and in that of Christ. 
Accept, then, the generous offers that he makes to you by 
me ; out do not believe that this pacific language is dictated 
by fear. The emperor Alexius reigns over Greece by the 
love of his people as well as by the will of God ; with one 
single word he could gather around him innumerable armies, 
disperse your fleet and your battalions, and close against 
you for ever the routes to. the East." 

The envoy of the emperor thus terminated his speech 
without naming either Isaac or young Alexius. Conon de 
B6thune,* who answered for the leaders of the army, was 
astonished that the brother of Isaac should dare to speak as 
master of the empire, and that he had not thought fit to 
attempt to justify a parricide which had roused the in- 
dignation of all Christian nations. " Go and tell your 

* Le Pere d*Outreman ipeaks thiu of Conon de B^thnne: Vir domi 
militiseque nobilis et foecandus inpaucts.— Onv/an/m. Belg, lib. iii. Yille- 
hardooin says that Conon de Jwchnna ** was a wiae knigiit nad well- 


master,*' said the orator of the CruBaden, addreflsing the 
emperor's eiiTOj, *' go and tell him, that the earth we tread 
upon does not belong to him, but that it is the heritage of 
the prinoe you see seated amongst us. If he be desirous of 
knowing the motire that brings us hither, let him ask his 
own conscience, and remember the crimes he has committed. 
A usurper is the enemy of all princes ; a tyrant is the enemy 
of the whole human race. He who sent you has but one 
means of escaping the justice of HeaTen and of men ; that 
is, to restore to his brother and his nephew the throne ho 
has wrested from them, and implead the pity of those same 
princes towards whom he has been so merciless. In that 
case we promise to add our prayers to his supplications, and 
to procuro for him, with his pardon, the means of passing 
his life in a repose far preferable to the splendour of an 
usurped soyereignty ; but if he is not willing to act justly, if 
he is inaccessible to repentance, tell him we disdain his 
threats as we do his promises, and that we hare no time to 
waste in listening to ambasoEidors." This yehement reply 
was an actual declaration of war, and left the emperor no 
hope of either seducing or intimidating the Crusaders. The 
lonis and barons were, however, astonished that the Greeks 
took no notice of young Alexius, and that the cause they 
came to promote found no partisans in .the city of Constan- 
tinople. They resolved to ascertain the inclinations of the 
people. A galley, on board of which was the son of Isaac, 
was brought close to the walls of the capital ;* Boniface and 
Pandolo lield up the young prince, whilst a herald-at-arms 
repeated in a loud voice these words : — " Behold the heir of 
the throne; acknowledge your sovereign ; have pity on him and 
on yourgelves.'^ The Qreeks assembled on the ramparts 
remained motionless ; some answered by insulting language, 
others maintained a sullen silence. Whilst the Crusaders 
wero thus making a last attempt to preserve peace, the 
most horrible tumult roigned in the mterior or the city. 
The proaence of the Latins irritated the multitude ; they 
assembled in the public places ; they excited each other to 

* Thus went they Bailing along by the side of the walls, where they 
showed Alexins to the Greeks, who from all parts flocked to the mole : 
Sieurs Greeks, behold your natural lord, of that there is no doubt, &c &c. 
-^VUlekmrde y im, book iii 


vengeance; the people ran to the quarter of the Franks, 
demoliBhed several houses, and gave the rest up to pillage. 
A great number of ^Latins, threatened with loss of iSe, 
immediately sought an asylum in the camp of the Crusaders. 
Their presence, tbeir accounts, their complaints, fired the 
easily kindled indignation of the knights and barons. Prom 
that moment the leaders saw no hopes but in the chance of 
war and in the protection of the Heaven that had confided 
to their hands the cause of innocence and misfortune. 

Eighty knights succeeded in putting to flight a numerous 
body of troops that the emperor had sent across the Bos- 
phorus. " The Greek commanders," says Nicetas, " were 
more timid than deer, and did not dare to resist men whom 
they called exterminating angels, statties of bronze, which 
spread around terror and death." The Crusaders, however, 
had great cause to fear that the Greeks, recovered from their 
first panic, might become aware of the small number of 
their enemies, and succeed in overwhelming them by their 
multitudes ; they resolved, therefore, to take advantage of 
the fear they had inspired, and gave their whole attention to 
forward the preparations for attacking enemies that had 
provided nothmg for their defence. 

The Christian army assembled at Chrisopolis (Scutari*), 
and beheld full in front of them the capitol of the Greek 
empire. After having put to flight some troops sent out to 
follow their march or skirmish with them, .the leaders 
mounted on horseback and deliberated in full assembly, on 
the plan of action best to be piu^sued. They decided that the 
army should cross the canal of the Bo^horus, and encamp 
under the walls of Constantinople. " Then," says Villehar- 
douin, " the bishops and the clergy addressed their remon- 
strances to all those of the camp, exhorting them to confess 
themselves, and make their testaments, for they did not 
know the hour at which it might please God to call them, 
and do his will by them ; which they did very willingly, and 
with great zeal and devotion." When all was ready, and the 
Crusaders had invoked the protection of Heaven by their 
prayers, the signal for departure was given ; the war-horses, 
saddled and covered witn their long caparisons, were em- 

* It was nearly at this period that the city of Chrisopolis began to be 
called Scutari. The name of Scutari is employed by VillehardoaiB. 


"barked in the flat-bottomed boats ; the knights stood erect 
near their horses, helm on head and lance in hand; the 
remamder of the troops went on board the large ships, each 
of which was towed by a galley. The army of the Greeks, 
commanded by the emperor in person, was drawn up in 
battle array on the opposite shore, and appeared disposed to 
dispute th epassage of the Crusaders. AU at once the vessels 
heaved their anchors to the sounds of trumpets and clarions. 
Every Soldier, with his eyes fixed on Constantinople, swore 
to conquer or die. On approaching the shore, the barons 
and knights cast themselves into the sea, fully armed, and 
contended for the honour of first gaining the strand occupied 
by the Greeks. The archers and foot-soldiers followed the 
example of the knights ; in less than an hour the whole army 
was on the other side of the Bosphorus, and looked about 
in vain for an enemy over a plain they had so recently seen 
covered with arms and warriors. The army of Alexius took 
to flight ; and, if we may believe a letter of the count de 
St. Pol, the swifbest arrows of the Latins could scarcely 
overtake a few of the fugitives. The Crusaders, following up 
their advantage, found the camp of the Greeks abandji.ea, 
and plundered the tents of the emperor, without meeting 
with one of his soldiers. 

Night surprised them in the midst of their bloodless 
victory ; and on the morrow they resolved to attack the 
fortress of Galata, which, erected upon a hill, commanded 
the port of Constantinople. From break of day the Greeks 
rushed in crowds to anticipate and surprise the Latins. At 
the first shock, Jacques d Avesnes was wounded grievouslv, 
and placed hors de combat ; the sight of his wound highly 
incensed the Flemish warriors, who precipitated themselves 
with fury into the melSe, The Greeks were not able to 
withstand the impetuous attack of their enemies, and took 
t^o flight in ^eat disorder ; some, hoping to find an asylum 
in the ships m the port, perished in the waves, whilst others 
fled bewildered to the citadel, into which the conquerors 
entered with the conquered. Whilst the French thus got 
possession of Ghdata, the Venetian fleet, which was drawn up 
in line of battle before Scutari, turned its prows towards the 

Sort of Constantinople. The entrance of the gulf was 
efended by an enormous chain of iron, and by twenty 


galleys, which constituted the whole navy of the empire. 
The resistance of the Grreeks was obstinate ; but a vessel of 
extraordinary size, assisted by a favourable wind, struck the 
extended chain violently in its passage, and divided it with 
enormous shears of steel, whicn opened and shut by the 
operation of a machine.* The galleys of the Greeks were 
soon taken, or dispersed in fragments on the face of the 
waters, and the whole of the Venetian fleet rode in triumph 
4nto the port : it was then the Greeks were able to per- 
ceive what they had to dread from the invincible courage of 
these barbarians, who had till that period been the object of 
their contempt. 

The French, masters of Galata, divided their army into 
six great battles or divisions. Baldwin, who had under his 
orders a great number of archers and crossbow-men, led the 
van. The rear was composed of Lombards, Germans, and 
Franks, from countries near the Alps, commanded by the 
marquis of Montferrat. The other rour divisions, in which 
were ranged the crusaders from Champagne, Burgundy, and 
the banks of the Seine and the Loire, had at their head 
Henry, brother of Baldwin, the counts of St. Pol and Blois, 
and Matthew de Montmorend. 

This army advancedf towards the west of the city, without 
meeting with a single foe in its passage, and encamped 
between the gate of Blachemss and the tower of Bohe* 

The Greeks, in a single battle, had lost the empire of the 
sea, and had no longer the power to defend the approach to 
their capital. The Venetian fleet cast anchor near the 
mouth of the river Barbysses.^ The Venetians, masters of 

* The breaking of the chain of the port, according to the acooant of 
Nicetas, spread the greatest consternation among the Greeks ; and mis- 
fortone, says the historian of Byzantioxn, assumed so many different 
forms, and prodaced so surprising a number of afflicting images, that no 
mind is able to conoeif e them. 

t For the first siege we may profitably consult the Letter qfiKe Ob- 
taderM to the Popes the Hittory of Villehardouin ; Nicetas, Reign of 
Alexius s the Chronicle of Daudolo; the War qf Conetaniinoplet by 
D*Outreman ; Rhamnusius de Bell, Conttantinop. &c. &c. 

% The name of Barbysses is at present unknown to the Turks, who 
call this river Kiathana ; the Greeks call it Kartnricos, names which, in 
both languages, remind us of the paper-mills that are al ita mouth. 


the port, were secure from all surprise, and had no cause to 
fear being overpowered by numbers. If the whole army had 
been united on board the fleet, there is very little doubt it 
would have more easily triumphed over the efforts and 
multitudes of the Greeks, and it was the advice of the doge 
that such should be the plan ; but the knights and barons 
could not be prevailed upon to fight on an element with 
which they were unacquainted ; and they answered (we quote 
Villehardouin), that they could not act so well upon the sea 
as they could upon the land, where they could have their 
horses and their arms. Their army, which did not muster 
twenty thousand men under its banners, attacked without 
fear a city, which, according to the account of some his- 
torians, contained a million of inhabitants, and more than 
two himdred thousand men able to bear arms. 

Before they began the assault, the Crusaders deemed it 
proper once more to invite the Greeks to make peace, by 
receiving the son of Isaac as emperor ; and several barons 
drew near to the walls, crying with a loud voice that there 
was still time to listen to justice. Young Alexius was 
surrounded by the Latin leaaers, and his presence among 
them explained sufficiently clearly the meanmg of the words 
addressed to the inhabitants of Constantinople. Their only 
reply was hurling stones and javelins at the Crusaders ; the 
people of Byzantium had been persuaded that young Alexius 
came for the purpose of changing the manners, religion, and 
laws of Greece. 

History ought to add here, that sinco the intrigues of 
ambition and the caprices of fortune had enjoyed the privi- 
lege of bestowing masters upon them, the Greeks beheld 
with indifference the successions of power or the changes of 
their princes ; the Greek nations had not forgotten that it 
was a revolution that lifted the family of Isaac to the impe- 
rial throne. With the impressions this family had left in 
their minds, the misfortunes and prayers of Alexius did not 
move them sufficiently to declare in his favour, or take 
arms to support his cause; since they were obliged to 
choose between two new princes, he who was reigning 
amongst them appeared preferable to him who implored their 

From that time the attention and efforts of the Crusaders 

Vol. II.— 5 

90 HISTOBX or TH£ CB17SAJ)£S. 

were solely directed to tbe prosecution of their perilous 
enterprise. Their camp, placed between the gate of Bla- 
chemao, and the castle of Bohemond, occupied but a very 
small space before walls many leagues in extent. Every day 
the Greeks made sorties ; the country round was covered 
with the soldiers of the enemy ; the army of the besiegers 
appeared to be themselves besieged by troops that were 
imceasingly renewed. Day and night the Crusaders were 
imder arms, and had neither time to take their food nor 
refresh themselves by sleep. They liad only provisions for 
three weeks, and could look for safety to nothing but a 
speedy victory ; nevertheless, they continued to fill up the 
ditches, and make their approaches to the ramparts. Ba- 
listas, catapultas, rams, everything that could carry destruc- 
tion and death into the city, were employed to second the 
bravery and indefatigable ardour of the besiegers ; without 
cessation, enormous masses fell with fearful crash, from the 
tops of the walls ; and such was the surprising power of the 
machines of war then in use, that the houses and palaces of 
Constantinople were often shaken to their foundations by 
stones launched from the camp of the Latins.* 

After ten days of labour and fighting, the Crusaders deter- 
mined to storm the city. Ou the morning of the 17th of 
July, 1203, the trumpets and clarions sounded the signal ; 
the coimt of Tlanders, who commanded the attack, passed 
through the ranks, and directed the attention of his knights 
to the ramparts of Constantinople, as the road which would 
conduct them to an eternal glory. The army was immedi- 
ately in motion, and every machme was directed against the 
walls. One tower, which had fallen in with a great crash, 
appeared to offer a passage to the troops of Baldwin. 
Ladders were planted, and the most intrepid contended for 
the honour of entering first into the city ; but, this time, 
numbers prevailed over valour. A host of Greeks, encou- 
raged by the presence of the Varangians and Pisans, hastened 
to the rampart, and overturned the ladders. Fifteen Frank 

* Nevertheless the superh palaces were ruined by the stones of an 
extraordinary size that the besiegers Iaun(;hf>d with their machines, and 
they were themselves terrified by the heavy masses that the Romans 
rolled upon them from the walls. — Nicetatf Hist, qf Alexitu Comnema, 
book iii. 


warriors, braving stones, beams, and torrents of Greek fire, 
alone were able to maintain themselves on the walls, and 
yielded only after fighting with desperate valour. Two of 
these intrepid warriors were led to the emperor, who 
watched the fight from the windows of the palace of Bla- 
chemffi. Alexius had ceased to despise the Latms ; and, in hia 
fright, he had such an idea of their courage, that the sight of 
the two prisoners appeared to him a vieto^5^ 

At the same time the Venetians attacked the city by sea. 
Dandolo ranged his fleet in two lines ; the galleys were in 
the first rank, manned by archers, and laden with machines 
of war ; behind the galleys advanced the large vessels, upon 
which were constructed towers exceeding the loftiest of the 
walls of Constantinople in height. At daybreak the con- 
test began between the city and the fleet ; the Greeks, 
armed with the Greek fire, the "Venetians, covered with their 
armour, the ramparts and the vessels charged with a thou- 
sand destructive instruments, cast from one to the other, by 
turns, terror, fire, and death. The incessant dashing of the 
oars, the shocks of the vessels against each other, the cries 
of the sailors and combatants, the hissing of the stones, 
javelins, and arrows, the Greek fire darting along the sea, 
seizing on the ships and boiling upon the waves, presented' 
altogether a spectacle a thousand times more fearful than 
that of a tempest. Amidst this horrible tumult, Henry 
Dandolo was heard : standing erect in his galley, he excited 
his troops, and, with a terrible voice, threatened to hang 
every man that did not land. The orders of the intrepid 
doge were soon executed. The men of his galley took him 
in their anns and bore him swiftly to the shore, the standard 
of St. Mark floating over him. At sight of this, the efibrts 
of the crew^s of the other galleys were redoubled, dl struck 
the shore, and the soldiers rushed forward to follow their 
venerable leader. The vessels, which had hitherto remained 
motionless, now advanced and placed themselves between 
the galleys, so that the whole fleet was extended in a single 
line before the walls of Constantinople, and presented to the 
terrified Greeks a formidable rampart raised upon the 
waters. The floating towers lowered their draw-bridges 
upon the ramparts of the city, and whilst, at the foot of the 
walls, ten thousand arms planted ladders and battered with 

92 maxoBT or the cbucudxs. 

rams, on the Bummit a fearful conflict was maintained with 
Bword and lance. 

All at once the standard of St. Mark appeared upon one 
of the towers, planted hj an invisible hand ; upon seeing 
this the Venetians uttered a loud shout of joy, persuaded 
that their patron saint fought at their head ; then* courage 
proportionately increased with the . terror and despair of 
their enemies ; the most intrepid cast themselves on to the 
walls, and soon twenty-five towers were in their possession. 
They pursued the Greeks into the city ; hut fearing to faU 
into some ambush or be overwhelmed by the people, crowds 
of whom filled the streets and covered the public places, 
they set fire to the houses as they came to them on their 
passage. The conflagration extended rapidly,* and drove 
Defore it the terrified and trembling multitude. Whilst the 
flames, preceding the conquerors, spread devastation on 
their path, and nie greatest disorder prevailed in Constan- 
tinople, Alexius, pressed by the cries of the people, mounted 
on horseback, and ordered a sortie of the troops, by three 
different gates, to attack the French, who were less fortunate 
in this day's fight than the Venetians. 

The army conducted by the emperor was composed of 
sixty battalions ; clothed in all the marks of imperial dignity, 
Alexius rode along the ranks, animated his soldiers, and 
promised them victory. At his approach, the Crusaders 
abandoned the rampiui^s, and drew up in line of battle 
before their camp.f Villehardouin admits that the bravest 
knights were, for a moment, seized with fear. Dandolo, 
who saw the danger in which the French were placed, aban- 
doned his victory, and flew to their aid. But all the Cru- 
saders united, could not have resisted the imperial army, if 
the Greeks, but more particularly their leaders, had shown 
a spark of courage. The troops of Alexius would not ad- 

* The historian of Byzantium says, with regard to this fire, that so 
lamentable a spectacle was capable of producing floods of tears sufficiently 
abundant to have extinguished the conflagration. 

t The marshal of Champagne describes to us the order of battle of the 
liatins, as it was drawn up according to the tactics of the middle ages. 
The Crusaders issued from their camp divided into six bodies ; they ranged 
themselves before their palisades. The knights were on horseback, their 
sergeants and esquires were behind them close to the quarters of their 
hones ; the crossbow-men and archers were in finmt. 

HI8T0BY or THE CBU8ADE8. 93 

vance nearer than within bow-shot, and contented themselves 
with showering a multitude of arrows from a safe distance. 
The son-in-law of the emperor, Loscaris, of whose courage 
the Greeks and even the Latins boast, demanded with loud 
cries that the Crusaders should be attacked in their intrench* 
menta ; but he could not prevail upon Alexius, surrounded 
by base coiurtiers who endeavoured to communicate their 
own alarms to him, and assured him that he had done enough 
for his glory in showing himself to his enemies. The em- 
peror, without having fought, ordered a retreat to be sounded, 
and his numerous troops, who still bore the name of Bomans, 
and before whom the eagles of Eome were carried, returned 
i^ith him into Constantinople. 

Every quarter of the capital resounded with lamentations 
and groans ; the Greeks were more terrified at the cowardice 
of their defenders, than by the bravery of their enemies ; 
the people accused the army, and the army accused Alexius. 
The emperor mistrusting the Greeks and dreading the Latins, 
now only thought of saving his own life : he abandoned his 
funily, his friends, his capital ; he embarked secretly in the 
darkness of night, and fled to seek a retreat in some obscure 
comer of his empire. 

When daylight informed the Greeks that they had no 
longer an emperor, the disorder and excitement of the city 
became excessive ; the people assembled in the streets, and 
fi*eely discussed the errors and deficiencies of their leaders, 
the infamy of the favourites, and their own misfortunes. 
JN'ow Alexius had abandoned his power, they remembered 
the crime of his usurpation, and a thousand voices were 
raised to invoke the anger of Heaven upon his head. 
Amidst the confusion and tumult, the wisest were at a loss 
what part to take, when the courtiers rushed to the prisbn 
in which Isaac languished, broke his chains, and led him in 
triumph to the palace of Blachemse. Althoujgh blind, he 
was placed upon the throne, and, whilst he believed himself 
to be still in the hands of his executioners, his ears were 
saluted ^ith the unexpected accents of flattery ; on seeing 
him again clothed in the imperial purple, the courtiers for 
the first time became affected by misfortunes he no longer 
endiu^d. All denied having been partisans of Alexius, and 
rcliited what vows they had put up for his cause. They next 


sought out the wife of Isaac, whom they had forgotten, and 
who had lived in a retreat to which no one knew or had 
inquired the road during the preceding reign. 

Eu|>hrosyne, the wife of the fugitive emperor, was accused 
of having endeavoured to take advantage of the troubles of 
Constantinople, to clothe one of her favourites "vsdth the 
puiple. She was cast into a dungeon, and reproached with 
all the evils that had fallen on her country, but most par- 
ticularly with the lengthened miseries of Isaac. Such as 
had been loaded with favours by this princess, were con- 
spicuous among her accusers, and pretended to make a merit 
of their ingratitude. 

In political troubles, evenr change is, in the eyes of the 
people, a means of safety ; they felicitated themselves upon 
this new revolution in Constantinople ; hope revived in all 
hearts, and Isaac was saluted by the multitude with cries of 
joy and congratidation. Eumour soon carried to the camp 
all that had taken place in the city. At this news the 
coimcil of the barons and knights was assembled in the tent 
of the marquis of Montferrat, and they returned thanks to 
Providence, which in delivering Constantinople, had, at the 
sahie time, delivered them from the greatest dangers. But 
when they recollected having seen only on the preceding 
day the emperor Alexius surrounded by an innumerable 
army, they could scarcely give faith to the miracle of his 

ITie camp was, however, soon crowded with a multitude 
of Greeks, wlio came to relate the wonders of which they 
had been witnesses. Many of the courtiers who had not 
been able to attract the attention of Isaac, flocked to young 
Alexius, in the hope of securing his first favours ; they 
returned warm thanks to Heaven for having listened to the 
ardent vows they had put up for his return, and conjured 
him, in the name of his country and the empire, to come 
and share the honours and the power of his father. But all 
thfse testimonies could not persuade the Latins, so accus- 
tomed were they to mistrust the Grreeks. The barons kept 
their army in the strictest order, and always prepared lor 
battle, and then sent Matthew of Montmorenci, Geofirey 
de A^illehardouin, and two Venetian nobles to Constantinople 
to ascertain the truth. 


The deputies vere directed to congratulate Isaac, if he 
had recovered his throne, and to require of him the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty made with his son. On arriving in Con- 
stantinople, they were conducted to the palace of BlachemsB 
hetween two ranks of soldiers, who, tne day before, had 
formed the body-guard of Alexius, and who had just taken 
the oath to defend Isaac. The emperor received the depu- 
ties on a throne sparkling with gold and precious stones, 
and, surrounded by all the splendour of Eastern courts. 
" This is the manner," said Villehardouin, addressing Isaac, 
" in which the Crusaders have fulfilled their promises ; it 
now remains withyou to perform those that have been made 
in your name. Tour son, who is with the lords and barons, 
implores you to ratify the treaty he haa concluded, and com- 
mands us to say that he will not return to your palace until 
you have sworn to perform aU he has promised us." Alexius 
had engaged to pay the Crusaders two hundred thousand 
silver marks, to furnish their army with provisions for a 
year, to take an active part in the perils and labours of tlie 
holy war, and to reduce the Greek Church to submission to 
that of Home. "When Isaac heard the conditions of the 
treaty, he could not forbear from expressing his surprise, 
and pointing out to the deputies how difficult it must do to 
perform such promises ; but he could deny nothing to his 
liberators, and thanked the Crusaders for not requiring 
more :* " You have served us so welly'* added he, " that if we 
were even to give you the whole empire, you would have 
merited it.'* The deputies praised the frankness and good 
faith of Isaac, and carried back to the camp the imperial 
patents, to which was affixed the seal of gold that conhrmed 
the treaty made with Alexius. 

The lords and barons immediatelv mounted on horseback, 
and conducted young Alexius into Constantinople. The son 
of Isaac rode between the count of Flanders and the dogo 
of Venice, followed by all the knights, clad in complete 
armour. The people, who so lately had preserved a sullen 

* Certes, voUa une capitalation bien Strange, repondit I'empereur, et 
ne Toy pas comme elle se puisse accomplir, tant die est grande et execs- 
rive. Nompourtant vous avez tout fait pour lui et pour rooy, que si Ton 
Tous donnerait tout cet empire entierement, si I'avez vous bien desuivi. — 
Vili€hardoum, book iv. 


silence on beholding him, now crowded around him on his 
passage, and saluted him with loud acclamations ; the Latin 
clergy accompanied the son of Isaac, and those of the Greek 
Chiirch sent out their magnificent cortege to meet him. The 
entrance of the young prince into the capital was a day of 
festivity for both the Greeks and the Latins; in all the 
churches thanks were offered up to Heaven ; hymns of 
public rejoicing resounded everywhere; but it was par- 
ticularly in the palace of Blachemce, so long the abode of 
mourning and fear, that the greatest transports of joy were 
manifested. A father, blind, and immured during eight 
years in a dungeon, claspinfi; in his arms a son to whom he 
owed the restoration of his liberty and crown, presented a 
new spectacle that must have penetrated every heart with 
lively emotions. The crowd of spectators recalled to their 
minds the long calamities of these two princes ; and the 
remembrance of so many evils past, appeared to them a 
pledge for the blessings that Heaven had m store for the 

The emneror, reunited to his son, again thanked the 
Crusaders for the services they had rendered him, and con- 
jured the leaders to establish themselves with their army on 
the other side of the Gulf of Chrysoceras. He feared that 
their abode in the city might give birth to some quarrel 
between the Greeks and the Latins, too long divided. The 
barons vielded to the prayer of Isaac and Alexius, and the 
army of the Crusaders took up their quarters in the faubourg 
of Galata ; where, in abundance and repose, they forgot the 
labours, perils, and fatigues of the war. The Pisans, who had 
defended Constantinople against the Crusaders, made peace 
with the Venetians; all discords were appeased, and no 
spirit of jealousy or rivalry divided the Franks. The Greeks 
came constantly to the camp of the Latins, bringing provi- 
sions and merchandise of all kinds. The warriors of the 
West often visited the capital, and were never tired ot 
contemplating the palaces of the emperors, the numerous 
edifices, the master-pieces of art, the monuments consecrated 
to religion, and, above all, the relics of saints, which, accord- 
ing to the marshal of Champagne, were in greater abundance 
in Constantinople than in any other place in the world. 


A few days after his entrance into Constantinople, Alexius 
was crowned in the church of St. Sophia, and admitted to a 
partition of the sovereign power with his father. The harons 
assisted at his coronation, and offered up sincere wishes for 
the happiness of his reign. Alexius hastened to discharge a 
part 01 the sum promised to the Crusaders. The greatest har- 
mony prevailed between the people of Byzantium and the 
warriors of the West ; the Greeks appeared to have forgotten 
their defeats, the Latins their victories. The subjects of Isaac 
and Alexius mingled with the Latins without mistrust, and 
the simplicity of the Franks was no longer the subject of their 
raillery. The Crusaders, on their side, confided in the good 
faith of the Greeks. Peace reigned in the capital, and 
seemed to be the work of their himds. They respected the 
two princes they had placed upon the throne, and the em- 
perors retained an affectionate gratitude for tlieir liberators. 

The Crusaders, having become the allies of the Greeks, 
an4 the protectors of a great empire, had now no other 
enemies to contend with but the Saracens ; and they turned 
their minds to the fulfilment of the oath they had made on 
taking the cross ; but, ever faithful to the hiws of chivalry, 
the barons and knights deemed it right to declare war 
before beginning it. Heralds-at-arms were sent to the 
sultan of Cairo and Damascus, to announce to him, in the 
name of Jesus Christ, in the name of the emperor of Con- 
stantinople, and in the names of the princes and nobles of 
the West, that he would soon experience the valour of the 
Christian nations, if he persisted in holding under his laws 
the Holy Land and the places consecrated by the presence 
of the Saviour. 

The leaders of the crusade announced the wonderful suc- 
cess of their enterprise to all the princes and nations of 
Christendom. Whilst addressing the emperor of Germany,* 
they conjured him to take part in the crusade, and come 
and place himself at the head of the Christian knights. The 
account of their exploits excited the enthusiasm of the 

* The Crasaders addressed Otho, and not Philip of Swahia, which is 
▼cry strange, as Philip was the brother-in-law of Alexius ; but it is to be 
observed that at this period the pope had declared in favonr of Otho, and 
threatened Philip with the thunders of the Church. 



fiuthful ; the news, when carried into Syria^ spread terror 
among the Saracens, and revived the hopes or the king of 
Jerusalem and the defenders of the Holy Land : so much 
glorious success ought to have satisfied the pride and valour 
of the Crusaders; but, whilst the world resounded with 
their glory, and trembled at the fame of their arms, the 
knights and barons believed they had achieved nothing for 
their own renown, or for the cause of God, until they had 
obtained the approbation of the Holy See. The marquis of 
Montferrat, the count of Flanders, the count of St. Pol, 
and the principal leaders of the army, when writing to the 
pope, represented to him that the success of their enterprise 
was not the work of men, but the work of God. These 
warriors, filled with haughty pride, who had just conquered 
an empire; who, according to Nicetas, boasted oi fearing 
nothing hut the falling of the heavens, thus bent their vie* 
torious brows before the tribunal of the sovereign pontifi^, 
and protested at the feet of Innocent, that no mundane 
view nad directed their arms, and that he must only contem- 
plate in them the instruments FroWdence had employed in 
accomplishing its designs. 

Young Alexius, in concert with the leaders of the crusaaes, 
wrote at the same time to the pope, to justify his conduct 
and that of his liberators. " We avow," said he, " that the 
principal cause that induced the pilgrims to assist us, was 
that we had promised, with an oath, to recognise the Eoman 
pontiff as our ecclesiastical head, and the successor of St. 
Feter." Innocent III. in replying to the new emperor of 
Constantinople, praised his mtentions and his zeal, and 
pressed him to accomplish his promises ; but the excuses of 
the Crusaders were not able to appease the resentment 
which the pope retained on account of their disobedience to 
the counsels and commands of the Holy See. In his answer, 
he did not salute them with his usual benediction, fearing 
that they were again fallen under excommunication, bv 
attacking the Greek emperor in spite of his prohibition, ff 
the emperor of Constantinople, said he to them, does not 
make haste to do that which he has promised, it will appear 
that neither his intentions nor yours have been sincere, and 
that you have added this second sin to that you have already 


committed. The pope gave the CrusaderB fresh advice ; but 
neither his counsels nor his threats produced any better 
effect than they had done at the siege of Zara : Providence 
was preparing in secret, events that exceeded the foresight 
of the Crosaders, or even that of the Holy See, and which 
would once again change the aim and object of the holy 


A.D. 1198—1204. 

Whek war and revolutions have shaken an empire to its 
foundation, evils arise against which no human wisdom can 
provide. It is then that princes, called to the throne, are 
more to be pitied than their subjects, and that their power 
is more likely to excite commiseration than to awaken the 
ambition or hatred of other men. The people, in the 
extreme of misery, know not what bounds to put to their 
hopes, and alwavs demand of the future more than the 
future can possibly bring. When they continue to suffer 
irreparable misfortunes, they blame their leaders, by whose 
influence they expected all sorts of prosperity ; the murmurs 
of unjust hatred soon succeed to the acclamations of an irre- 
flcctive enthusiasm, and, not unfrequently, virtue itself is 
accused of having caused evils which are the effects of revolt, 
war, or bad fortune. 

Nations themselves, when they have succumbed, and have 
for ever lost their political existence, are not judged with 
less severity or injustice than princes or monarchs: after 
the fall of an empire, the terrible axiom va victis, receives 
its application even in the judgment of posterity. Gene- 
rations, quite equally with contemporaries, allow them- 
selves to be dazzled by victory, and entertain nothing but 
contempt for conquered nations. We shall endeavour, 
whilst speaking of the Greeks and their princes, to guard 
against the prejudices that history has transmitted to us, 
and when we shall pronoimce a severe judgment upon the 
character and people of Greece, our opinion will be always 
founded upon authentic traditions and the testimony of the 
historians of Byzantium. 

Whilst young Alexius had nothing to do but make pro- 
mises and give hopes, he was gratified by the flattering 


benedictions of both Greeks and Crusaders ; but when the 
time arrived for him to perfoiin all he had promised, he met 
with nothing but enemies and obstacles. In the position in 
which his return had placed him, it was extremely difficult 
for him to preserve at the same time the confidence of his 
liberatore and the love of his subjects. If, in order to 
fulfil his engagements, the young emperor undertook to 
unite the Greek Church with the Church of Eome ; if, to 
pay that which he owed to the Crusaders, he oppressed his 
people with taxes, he must expect to hear violent murmurs 
arise throughout his empire. If, on the contrary, he re- 
spected the religion of Greece, if he lightened the excessive 
weight of the imposts, the treaties would remain unexecuted, 
and the throne he had so recently ascended, might be over- 
turned bv the arms of the Latins. 

Dreadmg every day to see the fires of either revolt or 
war kindled, obliged to choose between two perils, after 
having long and earnestly deliberated, he did not dare to 
confide his destiny to the equivocal valour of the Greeks, 
and conjured the barons to become a second time his libe- 
rators. He repaired to the tent of the count of Manders, 
and spoke as follows to the assembled leaders of the 
crusade.* " You have restored to me life, honour, and 
empire, and I have only one thing to desire : that is, to be 
able to perform all the promises 1 have made you. But if 
you abandon me now, in order to go into Syria, it will be 
impossible for me to find the money, the troops, or the 
vessels I have undertaken to furnish. The people of Con- 
stantinople have received me with joy ; but the frequency of 
revolutions has caused them to lose the habits of submission 
and obedience. The laws of their country, the majesty of 
the throne, no longer inspire them with respect ; a spirit of 
faction reigns in the capital, and throughout the too-long 
agitated provinces. I conjure you then, in the name of 
your own glory, in the name of your own interests, to finish 
vour work, and render firm the power you have reestablished, 
winter is approaching, the navigation is perilous, and the 
rains wDl not permit you to commence the war in Syria ; 
wait then till the spring, when the sea will present fewer 

* This ipeecb is given in its entirety by Villebardouin. 


dangers, and war greater success and glory ; 70a will then 
have all Greece as auxiliaries in your enterprises ; I shall 
myself be able to keep the oaths that chain me to your 
cause, and accompany you with an army worthy of an 
emperor.*' At the conclusion of his speech, Alexius pro- 
mised to furnish all that the army would require, and to 
make such suitable arrangements with the doge, that the 
Venetian fleet might remain at the disposal of the Crusaders 
during their abode at Constantinople, and to the end of their 

A coimcil was called to deliberate upon the proposals of 
the young emperor : those who had been desirous of sepa- 
rating themselves &om the army at Zara and Corfu, repre- 
sented to the assembly that they had, until that time, fought 
for the glory and profane interests of princes of the earth, 
but that the time was now come for them to fight for 
religion and for Jesus Christ. They were indignant at new 
obstacles being raised to retard the holy enterprise. This 
opinion was warmly combated by the doge of Venice and 
the barons who had embarked their glory in the expedition 
against Constantinople, and could not make up their minds 
to lose the fruit of all their labours. ^' Shall we," said they, 
" allow a yoimg prince, whose cause we have brought to a 
triumphant issue, to be delivered over to his enemies, who 
are as ours, and an enterprise so gloriously begun, become 
for us a source of shame and repentance P Shall we allow 
the heresy that our arms have stifled in humbled Greece, 
to reconstruct its impure altars, and be again a subject of 
scandal for the Christian church? Sh^ we leave the 
Greeks the dangerous faculty of declaring against us, and 
allying themselves with the Saracens, to war with the soldiers 
of Christ?" To these weighty motives the princes and 
lords did not disdain to add supplication and prayers; at 
length their opinion triumphed over an obstinate opposition^ 
and the council decided that the departure of the army 
should be deferred until the festival of the Piaster of the 
following year. 

Alexius, in concert with Isaac, thanked the Crusaders for 
their favourable determination, and ne^ected nothing that 
could prove his gratitude to them. For the purpose of 
paying the sums h& had promised, ha exhausted hiatnsasury, 


increased the imposts, and even melted the images of the 
saints and the sacred vases. Upon seeing the churches 
despoiled of the sacred images, the people of Constantinople 
were struck with surprise and terror, and yet had not the 
courage to utter their complaints aloud. Nicetas reproaches 
his compatriots hitterly with having remained quiet specta- 
tors of such sacrilege, and accuses them of havmg, bj their 
cowardly indifference, drawn upon the empire the anger of 
Heaven. The most fervent of the Greeks deplored, as 
Nicetas did, the violation of their holy places ; but scenes 
much more grievous were soon to be brought before their 

The leaders of the army, influenced by the coimsels of 
the Latin clei^ and by the fear of the pontiff of Eome, 
required that the patriarch, the priests, and the monks of 
Constantinople should abjure the errors that separated them 
from the Eomish church ; and neither the dergy, nor the 
people, nor the emperor, attempted to resist this demand, 
although it alarmed every conscience and alienated all hearts. 
The patriarch, from the pulpit of St. Sophia, declared, in his 
own name, and in the name of the emperor and the Chris- 
tian people of the East, that he acknowledged Innocent, third 
of that name, as the successor of St. Feter, first vicar of 
Jesus Christ upon earth, pastor of the faithful flock. The 
Greeks who were present at this ceremony believed they 
beheld the abomination of desolation in the holy place, and 
if they afterwards pardoned the patriarch the commission of 
such a scandal, it was from the strange persuasion in which 
they were, that the head of their church was deceiving the 
Latins, and that the imposture of his words redeemed in 
some sort the crime of blasphemy and the shame of perjury. 

GThe Greeks persisted in believing that the Holy Ghost 
does not proceed from the Son, and quoted in support of their 
belief, the Creed of Nice ; the discipline of their church 
differed in some points from that of the Church of Borne ; 
in the early, days of the schism it might have been easy to 
effect a reunion, but now the disputes of theologians had 
too much exasperated men's minds.* The hatred of the 

* The Greeks and Latina were diyided on three principal points ; first, 
the addition made by the Latin Church to the creed of Constantinople, to 
declare that the Holy Ghoat proceeds from tfao Father { 2nd the refetsl 


Greeks and the Latins appeared but too likely to separate 
the two creeds for ever. The law that was imposed upon 
the Greeks only served to promote the growth of their in- 
vincible resistance. Such among them as scarcely knew 
what the subject was of the long debates that had sprung 
up between Byzantium and Borne, showed no less fanaticism 
and opposition than all the others ; whilst such as had no 
religion at all adopted with warmth the opinions of the 
theologians, and appeared all at once disposed to die for a 
cause which tiU that time had inspired them with nothing 
but indifference. The Greek people, in a word, who believed 
themselves to be superior to all either nations of the earth, 
repulsed with contempt all knowledge that came from the 
west, and could not consent to recognise the superiority of 
the Latins. The Crusaders, who had changed the emperors 
and conquered the empire, were astonished at not being able 
to change men's hearts likewise ; but, persuaded that every- 
thing must in the end yield to their arms, they employed, m 
subduing minds and opmions, a rigour which only augmented 
the hatred of the vanquished, and prepared the fall of the 
emperors whom victory had replaced upon the throne. 

In the mean time, the usurper Alexius, on flying from 
Constantinople, had found a retreat in the province of 
Thrace ; several cities opened their gates to him, and a few 
partisans assembled unaer his banner. The son of Isaac 
resolved to seek the rebels and give them battle. Henry of 
Hainault, the count of St. Pol, and many knights, accom- 
panied him in this expedition. At their approach, the 
usurper, shut up in Adnanople, quickly abandoned the city, 
and fled away towards Mount Hemus. All the rebels who 
had the courage to await them, were cither conquered or 
dispersed. But young Alexius and the Crusaders had a 
much more formidable enemy to contend with : this was the 
nation of the Bulgarians. These wild and ferocious people, 

on the part of the Greeks to acknowledge the primacy of the pope ; Srdly, 
the pretension of the Greeks that it is not possible to consecrate in the 
Eucharist with unleavened bread. Photius began the schism ; the patriarch 
Cerularius established it ; this latter wished to be acknowledged as the 
head of the universal Church instead of the pope. L'Abb^ Pleury, in his 
Huioire Eceietiattique, thinks that the schism of the Greeks only really 
began at the period the Latins were masten of Constantinople. 


obedient to the laws of Constantinople at the time of the 
first crusade, had taken advantage of the troubles of the 
empire to shake off the yoke of its rulers.* The leader of the 
Bulgarians, Joaunices, an implacable enemy of the Greeks, 
had embraced the faith of the Church of Borne, and declared 
himself a vassal of the sovereign pontiff, to obtain £rom him 
the title of king. He concealed under the veil of a new 
religion the most vindictive hatred and aspiring ambition, 
and employed the support and credit of the court of Bome 
to make war against the masters of Byzantium. Joannicea 
made frequent incursions into the countries adjoining his 
own territories, and threatened the richest provinces of the 
empire with invasion. K young Alexius had been guided 
by prudent counsels, he would have taken advantage of the 
presence of the Crusaders to intimidate the Bulgarians, and 
compel them to remain on the other side of Mount Hemus : 
this expedition might have deservedly obtained him the con- 
fidence and esteem of the Greeks, and assured the repose of 
several provinces ; but whether he was not seconded by the 
Crusaders, or that he did not perceive the advantages of such 
on enterprise, he contented himself with threatening Joan- 
nices ; and, without having made either peace or war, after 
recei\dng the oaths of the cities of Thrace, his sole wish was 
to return to Constantinople. 

The capital of the empire, which had already undergone 
so many evils, had just experienced a fresh calamity. Some 
Plemish soldiers, encouraged by the Latins established in 
Constantinople, had provoked and insulted the Jews in their 
synagogue, and the people had taken up the defence of the 
latter against the aggressors. Both sides had recourse to 
arms, and in the tumult of fight, chance, or malevolence, 
set fire to some neighbouring houses. The conflagration 
extended on all sides, during the night and the following 
day, with a rapidity and violence that nothing could stop or 
confine ; the names meeting from several points, rolled on 
with the swiftness of a torrent, consuming, as if of straw, 
galleries, columns, temples, and palaces. From the bosom 
of this frightful mass of fire issued fragments of burning 

* The Bulgarians had shaken off the yoke under the first reign of Isaac. 
They had for leaders two brothers, Peter and Asan, who had for sucoossoi 
a third brother, Joannices. 


matter, wkicb, falling upon distant houses, reduced them to 
ashes. The flames, at first impelled by a north wind, were 
afterwards driven back, by a strong change, from the south, 
and poured upon places that had appeared secure from 
danger. The conflagration began at the synagogue, near 
the sea, on the ef^tem side of the city, and extended its 
ravages as far as the church of St. Sophia, on the western 
side, traversing a space of two leagues, and in its course 
including the port, where many ships were consumed upon 
the waters.* 

During eight days the fearful element continued the de- 
struction; the crash of houses and towers falling on all 
sides, and the roaring of the winds and flames mingling with 
the cries of a ruined and distracted multitude. The crowds 
of inhabitants rushed over and against each other in the 
streets, flying before the closely-pursuing fire, some bearing 
their goods and most valuable effects, others dragging along 
the sick and the aged. Such as perished in the conflagration 
were the least unfortunate, for multitudes of others, weeping 
the death of their relations and friends, and the loss of their 
whole worldly property, many of them wounded, some half- 
burnt, wandered about bewildered among the ruins, or were 
huddled together in the pubUc places, without any means ot 
subsistence, or the hope of finding an asylum. 

The Crusader sviewed the progress of this horrible dis- 
aster from the heights of Galata, and deplored the calamities 
of Constantinople. A great number of knights lent their 
most earnest endeavour to subdue the raging element, and 
lamented that they had to contend with an enemy against 
which valour was powerless. The princes and barons sent a 
deputation to the emperor Isaac, to assure him how sincerely 
they participated in his sorrow, and to declare that they 
would punish the authors of the conflagration with the 
utmost severity, if they should prove to be among their sol- 
diers. The protestations and assistance which they promptly 
and earnestly offered to the victims, could neither console 
nor appease the Greeks, who, whilst contemplating the ruins 

* Nicctas devotes an entire chapter to the description of this fire. 
Villehardooin, in the fourth volume of his Hutoryf speaks thus of it : 
De quoi les p^lerins Fran^ais furent mult dolent, ec mult en eurent 
grand piti6. 


aad misfortunes of their capital, accused the two emperors, 
and threw out horrible imprecations against the Latins. 

The families of the Franks established at Constantinople, 
who, in spite of persecutions, had remained in the city, 
became again subject to the ill-treatment of the people ; and, 
forced to seek an asylum without the walls, they took refuge 
in the faubourg of Gklata. Their groans and complaints 
revived all the animosity of the Crusaders against the 
Greeks. Thus everything contributed to inflame the hatred 
of two nations, whom such great misfortunes ought to have 
more closely imited, and to rekindle discords that were 
doomed to bring in their train new and incurable calamities. 

When Alexius re-entered Constantinople in triumph, the 
people received him with moody silence ; the Crusaders alone 
applauded victories he had gained over Greeks; and his 
triumph, whioli contrasted so keenly with the public cala- 
mities, and his laurels, gathered in a civil war, only served 
to render him more odious to the inhabitants of his capital. 
He was obliged, more than ever, to throw himself into the 
arms of the Latins ; he passed his days and nights in their 
camp ; he took part in their warlike games, and associated 
himself with their gross orgies. Amidst the intoxication of 
banquets, the Frank warriors treated Alexius with insolent 
familiarit}', and more than once they pulled off his jewelled 
diadem to place on his head the woollen cap worn by Venetian 
sailors. * The Greeks, who took great pride in the magni- 
ficence of their sovereigns, only conceived the stronger 
contempt for a prince, who, after abjuring his religion, de- 
graded the imperial dignity, and did not blush to adopt the 
manners of nations tliat were only known at Constantinople 
under the name of barbarians. 

Nicetas, whose opinions are not wanting in moderation, 
never speaks of this prince but with a sort of anger and vio- 
lence. According to the historian of Byzantium, "Alexius 
had a countenance resembling that of the exterminating 
angel ; he was a true incendiarj' ; and far from being aflBicted 
by the burning of his capital, he would have wished to see 
the whole city reduced to ashes.*' Isaac himself accused 
his son of having pernicious inclinations, and of corrupting 
himself daily by an intercourse with the wicked ; he was in- 
dignant that the name of Alexius should be proclaimed at 


court and in public ceremonies, whilst that of Isaac was 
rarely mentioned. In his blind anger, he loaded the young 
emperor with imprecations ; but, governed by a vain jedousy, 
much more than by any proper sentiment of dignity, whilst 
he applauded the hatred of the people for Alexius, he evaded 
the duties of a sovereign, and did nothing to merit the 
esteem of men of worth. Isaac lived retired in his palace, 
surrounded by monks and astrologers, who, whilst kissing his 
hands still scarred with the irons of his captivity, celebrated 
his power, made him believe that he would deliver Jerusalem, 
that he would plant his throne upon Mount Libanus, and 
would reign over the whole universe. Pull of confidence in 
an image of the Virgin which he always carried with him, 
and boasting of being ac(}uainted, by means of astrology, 
with all the secrets of policy, he could yet imagine, to pre- 
vent sedition, nothing more effective than to have tiuns- 
ported from the hippodrome to his palace, the statue of the 
wild boar of Calyaon, which was considered the symbol of 
revolt and the image of an infuriated people. 

The people of Constantinople, no less superstitious than 
Isaac, whilst deploring the evils of their country, laid the 
blame upon both mari)le and brass. A statue of IVIinerva 
which decorated the Square of Constantine, had its eyes and 
arms turned towards the West ; it was believed that she had 
called in the barbarians, and the statue was torn down and 
dashed to pieces by an exasperated mob :• "cruel blindness ^f 
the Greeks," cries an historical hel etprit,f "who took arms 
against themselves, and could not endure in their city 
the image of a goddess who presides over prudence and 
valour ! *' 

Whilst the capital of the empire was thus agitated by 
popular commotions, the ministers of Alexius and Isaac 
were busied in levying taxes for the payment of the sums 
promised to the litins. Extravagance, abuses of power, 

* Nioetas gives a sufficiently long description of this statneof Pallas.— 
See the Hieiwy qflwae Anpelut, chap. iii. This statue was thirty feet 
high ; its eyes, says the Greek historian, were turned towards the south, 
so that those who were ignorant of the science of angles considered she 
was looking towards the West, and that she invited the nations from the 
north of Europe to come to the shores of the Bosphortis. 

t NioetM. 

HISTOBT 07 rni CBtTSABES. 109 

and numerous instances of injustice, added still fiirtber to 
the public calamities ; loud complaints were proclaimed by 
ererj class of the citizens. It was at first intended to laj 
the principal burden of the imposts upon the people ; but the 
people, says Nicetas, arose like a sea agitatea by the winds. 
Extraordinary taxes were then, by necessity, laid upon the 
richer citizens, and the churches continued to be plundered 
of their gold and silver ornaments. All the treasures they 
could cofiect were not sufficient to satisfy the insatiable 
desires of the Latins, who began to ravage the country, and 
pillage the houses and monasteries of the Propontis. 

The hostilities and violence of the Crusaders excited the 
indignation of the people to a greater degree than they 
moved that of the patricians and the great. In the course of 
so many revolutions, it is astonishing to find that the spirit 
of patriotism so frequently revives amongst the multitude, 
when it is extinct in the more elevated classes. In a cor- 
rupt nation, so long as revolutions have not broken forth, 
and the day of peril and destruction is not arrived, the 
riches of the citizens is a sure pledge of their devotedness 
and patriotism ; but this pledge is no longer the same at the 
height of danger, when society finds itself in antagonism 
with all the enemies of its existence and its repose ; a for- 
tune, the loss of which is dreaded, is often tbe cause of 
shameful transactions with the party of the conquerors ; it 
enervates more than it fortifies moral courage. Amidst the 
greatest penis, the multitude, who have nothing to lose, 
sometimes preserve generous passions that skilful policy 
may direct with advantage. Unfortunately, the same mul- 
titude scarcely ever obey anything but a blind instinct ; and 
in moments of crisis, oecome a dangerous instrument in 
the hands of the ambitious, who abuse the names of liberty 
and patriotism. It is then that a nation has no less to com- 
plain of those who are not willing to save her, than of those 
who do not dare defend her ; and that she perishes, the vic- 
tim at once of culpable indifference and senseless ardour. 

The people of Constantinople, irritated against the ene- 
mies of the empire, and urged on by a spirit of faction, 
complained at first of their leaders ; and, soon passing from 
complaint to revolt, they rushed in a crowd to the paLice of 
the emperors, reproaol^ them with having alMmdoAed tbe 


cause of God and the cause of their country, and demanded, 
with loud cries, avengers and arms. 

Among those who encouraged the multitude, a youag 
prince of the illustrious family of Ducas was conspicuous. 
He bore the name of Alexius, a name which must always be 
associated with the history of the misfortunes of the empire : 
in addition, he had obtained the surname of Mourzoi^e^ a 
Greek word, signifying that his two eyebrows met together. 
!Mourzoullo* concealed a subtle spirit beneath that severe 
and stem air that the vulgar never fail to take for an indica- 
tion of frankness. The words patriotism and liberty, which 
always seduce the people; the words glory and religion, 
which recall noble sentiments, were for ever in his mouth, 
and only served to veil the machinations of his ambition. 
Amidst a timid and pusillanimous court, surrounded by 
princes, who, according to the expression of Nicetas, had 
greater fear of making war against the Crusaders, than stags 
would have in attacking a lion, Mourzoufle was not deficient 
in bravery, and his reputation for courage was quite sufficient 
to draw upon him the eyes of the whole capital. As he 
possessed a strong voice, a haughty look, and an imperious 
tone, he was pronounced fit to command. The more vehe- 
mently he declaimed against tyranny, the more ardent were 
the wishes of the multitude that he should be clothed ^sith 
great power. The hatred that he affected to entertain for 
foreigners, gave birth to the hope that he would one day 
defend the empire, and caused him to be considered the 
future liberator of Constantinople. 

Skilful in seizing every available chance, and in following 
all parties, after having rendered criminal services to the 
usurper, Mourzoufle gathered the reward of them under the 
reign that followed the usurpation ; and he who was every- 
where accused of having been the gaoler and executioner of 
lsaac,t became the favourite of young Alexius. He neg- 
lected no means of pleasing the multitude, in order to ren- 
der himself necessary to the prince; and knew how to 
brave, on fit occasions, the hatred of the courtiers, to aug- 

* The continuator of William gives the Greek prince the name of 

t Lebeaa, Hittoire du Sas-Empire, says that Mourzoufle bad been 
employed to pat out the eyes of Isaac. — See ffisi. du BM^Emp, Uv. zdv. 


ment his credit among the people. He was not tardy in 
taking advantage of this aouole influence to sow the 
seeds of new troubles, and bring about the triumph of his 

His counsels persuaded young Alexius, that it was neces- 
sary for him to break with the Latins, and prove himself 
ungrateful to his liberators, to obtain the confidence of the 
Greeks ; he inflamed the minds of the people, and to make 
a rupture' certain, he himself took up arms. His friends 
and some men of the people followed his example, and, led 
by Mourzoufle, a numerous troop rushed from the city, in 
the hope of surprising the Latins ; but the multitude, always 
ready to declaim against the wai-riors of the West, did not 
dare to face them. Mourzoufle, abandoned on the field of 
battle, had nearly fallen into the hands of the Crusaders. 
This imprudent action, that might have been expected to 
ruin him, only tended to increase his power and influence ; 
he might be accused of having risked the safety of the em- 
pire by provoking a war without the means of sustaining it; 
but the people boasted of the heroism of a young prince, 
who had dared to brave the warlike hosts of the Franks ; 
and even they who had deserted him in the fight, celebrated 
his valour, and swore, as he did, to exterminate the enemies 
of their country. 

The frenzy of the Greeks was at its height ; and, on their 
side, the Latins loudly expressed their dissatisfaction. In 
the faubourg of Galata, inhabited by the French and Vene- 
tians, as well as within the walls of Constantinople, nothing 
was heard but cries for war, and nobody durst speak of 
peace. At this period a deputation from the Christians of 
Palestine arrived in the camp of the Crusaders. The depu- 
ties, the principal of whom was Martin Litz, were clothed 
in mourning vestments, which, with the sadness of their 
aspect, made it sufficiently plain that they came to announce 
fresh misfortunes. Their accounts drew tears from all the 

In the year that preceded the expedition to Constantinople 
the Flemish and Champenois Crusaders, who had embarked 
at the ports of Bruges and Marseilles, landed at Ptolemais. 
At the same time came many English warriors, commanded 
by the eai-ls of Northumberland, Norwich, and Salisbury ; 


and a great number of pilgrims from Lower Brittany, who 
had chosen for leader the monk H61ain, one of the preacheni 
of the crusade. These Crusaders, when united with those 
who had quitted the Christian army after the siege of Zara, 
became impatient to attack the Saracens, and as the king of 
Jerusalem was averse to breaking the truce made with the 
infidels, the greater part of them left Palestine, to fight 
under the banners or the prince of Antioch, who was at 
war with the prince of Armenia. Having refused to take 
guides, they were surprised and dispersed by a body of 
Saracens, sent against them by the sultan of Aleppo ;• the 
few that escaped from the carnage, among whom history 
names two seigneurs de Neuilly, Bernard de Montmirail, and 
Eenard de Dampierre, remained in the chains of the infidels. 
H^lain, the monk, had the grief to see the bravest of the 
Breton Crusaders perish on the field of battle, and returned 
almost alone to Ptolemais, to announce the bloody defeat of 
the soldiers of the cross. A horrible famine had, during 
two years, desolated Egypt, and extended its ravages into 
Syria. Contagious diseases followed the famine ; the plague 
swept away the inhabitants of the Holy Land ; more than 
two thousand Christians had received the rights of sepulture 
in the city of Ptolemais, in one single day ! 

The deputies from the Holy Land, after rendering their 
melancholy account, invoked by tears and groans the prompt 
assistance of the army of ihe Crusaders ; but the oarona 
and knights could not abandon the enterprise they had 
begun ; they promised the envoys from Palestine that they 
would turn their arms towards Syria, as soon as they had 
subdued the Q-reeks ; and, pointing towards the walls of 
Constantinople, said : ^ This is the road to salvation ; this is 
the way to Jerusalem^^ 

Alexius was bound to pay the Latins the sums he had 
promised ; if he was faithrul to his word, he had to appre- 
hend a revolt of the G-reeks ; if he did not fulfil his engage- 
ments, he dreaded the arms of the Crusaders. Terrified by 
the general agitation that prevailed, and restrained by a 

* Jaoquet de Vitii, Alberio, and the oontinuator of William of Tyre 
speak of this battle fought between Antioch and Tripoli ; Yillehardouin 
likewise makes mentioa of it, and names manj knights that were Idlled or 


double fear, the two emperora remained mactlve in their 
palace, without daring to seek for peace, or prepare for war. 

The Crusaders, disaatisfied with the conduct of Alexius,* 
deputed aeveral barons and kniffhts to demand of him 
peremptorily whether he would oe their &iend or their 
enemy. Tne deputies, on entering Constantinople, heard 
nothing throughout their passage but the insults and threats 
of an irritated populace. Eeceived in the palace of Bl»> 
chemsB, amidst the pomp of the throne and the court,t thej 
addressed the emperor Alexius, and expressed the complaints 
of their companions in arms in these terms : *' We are sent 
by the French barons and the dofi;e of Venice to recall to 
your mind the treaty that you and your father have sworn 
po upon the 6k>spel, and to require you to fulfil your pro- 
mises as we have fulfilled ours. If you do us justice, we 
shall only haye to forget the past, and giye due praise to 
your ffood faith; if you are not true to your oaths, the 
Crusaders will no longer remember they naye been your 
friends and allies, they will haye recourse to no more prayers, 
but to their own good swords. They have felt it their dutjr 
to lay their comphdnts before you, and to warn you of their 
intentions, for the warriors of'^the West hold treachery in 
horror, and neyer make war without having declared it ; we 
ofier you our fiiendship, which has placed you upon the 
throne, or our hatred, wnich is able to remoye you from it ; 
we brin^ you war with all its calamities, or peace with all 
its blessmgs : it is for you to choose, and to deliberate upon 
the part you haye to take." 

These complaints of the Crusaders were expressed with 
80 little respect, that they must haye been highly offensiyd 

* Vigenere, when traiuUtmg VUlehardouin, renden thiu the panan 
in which the marshal of Champagne ezpreaaes the diaaatufaction of iM 
Cniaaden, and the ill-conduct of Alexiua towards them : — ^Alezis lea 
menatt de d^lai en d^lai, de reapit en reapit, le bee daua Teaa, qoant aa 
principal, et ponr le regard de oertainea menctes partiea, qn'il leur fonr- 
niaaait conune i leache doigt, formait tant de petitea dilBcnltA et chioa- 
neriea, que lea buona commenc^rent i s'ennayer. 

t ViUehardouin, after having deacribed the oonrt of Alezwa, in thia 
ceremony neiTcly adda : Tout oela ae aentait bien aa conr d'nn ai puiaaant 
et riche prince. The title of puuioni acarceif auited a prince who waa 
hearing war declared agaioat him in his own palace ; and the epithet riek 
waa hardly more applicable to him, since he could not pay what he had 
promiaed, ai^d thereby redeem hia empire from the fivataat danger. 

Vol. 11—6 


to the ears of tlie emperors. In tliis palace, which con- 
stantlj resounded with the acclamations of a servile courts 
the sovereigns of Byzantium had never listened to language 
so insolent and haughty. The emperor Alexius, to whom 
this menacing tone appeared to reveal his own helplessness 
and the unhappy state of his empire, could not restrain his 
indignation ; the courtiers fully partook of the anger of 
their masters, and were desirous of punishing the insolent 
orator of the Latins on the spot ;* hut the deputies left the 
palace of Blachemie, and hastened to regain the camp of the 

The council of Isaac and Alexius breathed nothing but 
vengeance ; and, on the return of the deputies, war was de- 
cided on in the council of the barons. The Latins deter- 
mined to attack Constantinople ; nothing could equal the 
hatred and fury of the Greeks; but fuiy and hatred 
cannot supply the place of courage : not daring to meet 
their ei^pmy in the open field, they resolved to bum the fleet 
of the Venetians. The Greeks, on this occasion, had again 
recourse to that Greek fire, which had, more than once, 
served them instead of courage, and saved their capital. 
This terrible fire, skilfully hurled or directed, devoured 
vessels, soldiers, and their arms ; like the bolt of Heaven, 
nothing could prevent its explosion, or' arrest its ravages ; 
the waves of the sea, so far from extinguishing it, redoubled 
its activity. Seventeen ships, charged with the Greek fire 
and combustible matter, were carried by a favourable wind 
towards the port in which the Venetian vessels lay at anchor. 
To assure the success of this attempt, the Greeks took 
advantage of the darkness of night; and the port, the 
gulf^ and the faubourg of Galata were, all at once, illumined 
by a threatening and sinister Hght. At the aspect of the 
danger, the trumpets soimded the alarm in the camp of the 
Latins ; the Prench flew to arms and prepared for the fight, 
whilst the Venetians cast themselves mto their barks, and 

* La-desseas bruit le lera fort grand an palais ; et les messagers s'en 
retoamuerent aox portes, oiii ils monterent habilement k cheral ; n'y ayant 
celui, qnand ila furent hon, qui ne se sentit tr^s heareox et content en 
•on esprit, voire estonn^, d'etre reschapp^ ii ri bon marche d'nn si mani- 
feste danger ; car il ne tint presqne 4 rien qa*ils Tk*j demenrassent tons 
Boortf ou prifl. — VUlekardouinf liv. vL 


went out to meet yessels bearing within their sides destruc- 
tion and fire. 

The crowd of Qreeka assembled on the shore, applauded 
the spectacle, and enjoyed the terror of the Crusaders. 
Manj of them embarked in small boats, and rowed out 
upon the sea, darting arrows and endeavouring to cany dis- 
order among the Venetians. The Crusaders encouraged 
each other ; they rushed in crowds to encounter the danger, 
some raising plaintiye and piercing cries towards Heaven, 
and others uttering horrible imprecations against the Greeks: 
on the walls of Constantinople, clapping of hands and cries 
of joy resounded, and were redoubled as the vessels covered 
with flames drew nearer. Yillehardouin, an ocular witness, 
says that amidst this firightful tumult, nature appeared to be 
in confusion, and the sea about to swallow up the earth. 
Nevertheless, the Venetians, by the means of strong arms 
and numberless oars, succeeded in turning the course of the 
fire-ships wide of the port, and they were carried by the 
current beyond the canal. The Crusaders, in battle array, 
standing on their vessels or dispersed among the barks, ren- 
dered -thanks to God for having preserved them from so 
great a disaster ; whilst the Greeks beheld with terror their 
fire-ships consuming away upon the waters of the Fropontis, 
without having effected the least injury. 

The irritated Latins could not pardon the perfidy and in- 
gratitude of the emperor Alexius : " It was not enough for 
him to have failed in his engagements and broken his oaths, 
he endeavoured to bum the fleet that had borne him trium- 
phantly to the heart of his empire : the time was now come 
to repress the enterprises of traitors by the sword, and to 
punish base enemies, who were acquainted with no other 
arms but treachery and deceit ; and, like the vilest brigands, 
only ventured to deal their blows in the darkness and silence 
of night.'* Alexius, terrified at these threats, could think 
of no other resource than that of imploring the clemency of 
the Crusaders. He offered them fresh oaths and fresh pro- 
mises, and threw the blame of the hostilities upon the fury 
of the people, which he had not the power to restrain. He 
conjured his friends, his allies, his liberators, to come and 
defend a throne ready to fall to pieces beneath hun, and pro- 
posed to give up hia own palace to them. 

116 HI8T0BT OF THB 0BVS4J>S8. 

Monrzoufle was directed to convey to the LatinB tlie cap- 
plicationB and offers of the emperor, and, seizing the oppor- 
tunity to augment the alarms and discontent of the multitude, 
he caused the report to be spread that he was going to d^ 
liver Constantinople up to the barbarians of the W^. On 
leuming this, the p^ple assembled tumultuously in the 
streets and public places ; the report became general that 
the enemies were already in the citv, and all joined in the 
cry that to prevent the greatest calamities, not a moment 
was to be lost ; the empire required a master who was able 
to defend and protect it. 

Whilst the young prince, seized with terror, shut himself 
up in his palace, the crowd of insurgents flocked to the 
dnurch of St. Sophia to choose a new emperor. 

Since the imperial dynasties had become the playthings 
of the caprice of the multitude, and of the ambition of 
conspirators, the Greeks made the changing of their sove- 
reigns quite a sport, without reflecting that one revolution 
produces other revolutions ; and, to avoid present calamities, 
rushed headlong into new ones. The most prudent of the 
clergy and the patrieians presented themselves at the church 
of St. Sophia, and earnestly endeavoured to prevent tha 
evils with which the country was threatened. But it was in 
vain they explained to their excited auditory that by change 
ing their master thev were sure to overthrow both the throne 
aira the empire. " 'When they asked my opinion," says the 
historian Nicetas, '' I was careful not to consent to the de» 
position of Isaac and Alexius, because I felt assured that 
the man they would elect in their place would not be the 
most able. But the people," adds the same historian, 
" whose only motive of action is passion, — ^the people, who 
twenty years before had killed Andronicus and crowned 
Isaac, could not endure their own work and live under 
princes whom they themselves had chosen." The multitude 
reproached their sovereign with their misery, which was the 
bitter fruit of the war ; and with the weakness of their 
government, which was but the result of general corruption. 
The victories of the Latins, the inefficiency of the laws, the 
caprices of fortune, the very will of Heaven, all were 
gathered into one great accusation to be brought against 
those who governs the empire. The distoacted oteowi 


looked to a reyolutioii for eTerythixig ; a change of emperors 
ajppeared to them the only remedj for the ills under which 
they groaned. They pressed, they solicited the patriciaoB 
and senators, — they scarcely knew the names or the men 
they wished to choose as masters ; but any other than Isaac, 
any other than Alexius, must merit the esteem and love of 
the Greeks. To be the wearer of a purple robe, was quite 
enough to entitle a man to ascend the throne of Constantino. 
Some excused themselves on account of age, others from 
alleged incapacity. The people, sword in hand, required 
them to accept the sovereign authority. At length, after 
three days of stormy debate, an imprudent young man, 
named Canabus, allowed himself to be prevailed upon by 
the prayers and threats of the people. A phantom of an 
emperor was crowned in the church of St. Sophia, and pro- 
claimed in Constantinople. Mourzoufle was no stranger to 
this popular revolution. Several historians have thought 
that he promoted the election of an obscure man, to test 
the peril in some sort, and to become acquainted with the 
power and will of the people, in order, one day, to profit by 
it himself. 

Alexius, made aware of this revolution, trembled in the 
recesses of his deserted palace ; he had no hope but in the 
Latins ; he solicited, by messages, the support of the barons ; 
he implored the pity of the marquis of Montferrat; who, 
touched by his prayers, entered Constantinople bv night, 
and came, at the head of a chosen troop, to deWd the 
throne and the lives of the emperors. Mourzoufle, who 
dreaded the presence of the Latins, flew to Alexius, to con- 
vince him that they were the most dangerous enemies he 
had, and told him that all would inevitably be lost if the 
Franks once appeared in arms in the palace. 

When Boniface presented himself before the palace of 
Blachemse, he found all the doors closed ; Alexius caused 
him to be informed that he was no longer at liberty to 
receive him, and conjured him to leave Constantinople with 
his soldiers. The sight of the warriors of the West had 
spread terror throughout the city ; their retreat revived both 
the courage and fury of the people. A thousand different 
rumours prevailed at once ; the public places resounded with 
eomplaints and imprecations ; &om moment to moment the 


crowd became more numerous and the tumult increofied. 
Amidst all this confusion and disorder, Mourzoufle never 
lost sight of the prosecution of his designs ; by promises 
and caresses he won over the imperial guard, whilst hia 
friends pervaded the capital, exciting the fury and rage of 
the multitude by their speeches and insinuations. An im- 
mense crowd soon assembled before the palace of Blachemse, 
uttering seditious cries. Mourzoufle then presented him- 
self before Alexius : he employed every means to aggravate 
the alarm of the young prince, and, under the pretext of 
providing for his safety, orew him into a secluded apart- 
ment, where his creatures, under his direction, loaded him 
with irons and cast him into a dungeon. Coming forth, he 
boldly informed the people what he had done for the salvar 
tion of the empire ; and the throne, from which he had 
dragged his master, benefactor, and friend, appeared but a 
just recompense for the devotedness of his services : he was 
carried in triumph to the church of St. Sophia, and crowned 
emperor amidst the acclamations of the people. Scarcely 
was Mourzoufle clothed with the imperial piuple, than he 
resolved to possess the finiit of his crime in security ; dread- 
ing the caprice of both fortune and the people, he repaired 
to the prison of Alexius, forced him to swallow an empoi* 
soned draught, and because death did not keep pace with his 
impatience, strangled him with his own hands. 

Thus perished, after a reign of six months and a few days, 
the emperor Alexius, whom one revolution had placed upon 
a throne, and who disappeared amidst the storms of another, 
without having tasted any of the sweets of supreme rank, 
and without an opportunity of proving whether he was 
worthy of it. This young prince, placed in a most difficult 
situation, had not the power, and perhaps not the will, to 
rouse the Greeks to oppose the Crusadei'S. On the other 
side, he had not the tact to employ the support of the Latins 
80 as to keep the Greeks within the bounds of obedience ; 
directed by perfidious counsels, ever vacillating between 
patriotism and gratitude, fearing by turns to s^enate his 
unhappy subjects, or to irritate his formidable allies, he 
perished, the victim of his own weakness and irresolution. 
Isaac Angelus, on learning the tragical end of his son, died 
of terror and despair; thus sparing Mourzoufle another par- 


ricide, of wUcli he was not the less suspected to be guilty. 
History makes no more mention of Canabus ; the conj^ision. 
was so great that the Greeks were ignorant of the fate of a 
man whom but a few days before they had elevated to the 
rank of their sovereign ; four emperors had been dragged 
violently from the throne since the arrival of the Latins, and 
fortune reserved the same fate for Mourzoufle. 

In order to profit by the crime that had ministered to his 
ambitious views, the murderer of Alexius formed the project 
of committing another, and to bring about by treachery the 
deajih of all the principal leaders of the army of the Cru- 
saders. An officer, sent to the camp of the Latins, was 
directed to say that he came on the part of the emperor 
Alexius, of whose death they were ignorant, to engage the 
doge of Venice and the French nobles to come to the palace 
of BlachemsB, where all the sums promised by the treaties, 
should be placed in their hands. The barons at first agreed 
to accept tne invitation of the emperor, and prepared to set 
out witn great joy ; but Dandolo, who, accorcung to Nicetas, 
deservedly obtained the name of the Frudent of the PrU' 
dent, awakened their mistrust, and pointed out strong rea- 
sons for fearing a fresh perfidy of the Greeks. It was not 
long before they were fuQy informed of the death of Isaac, 
the murder of Alexius, and all the crimes of Mourzoufle. 
At this news the indignation of the Crusaders was strong 
and general ; knights had difiiculty in crediting such base- 
ness ; every fresh account made them tremble with horror ; 
they forgot the wrongs of Alexius towards themselves, de- 
plored his imfortunate end, and swore to avenge him. In 
the council, the leaders loudly exclaimed that an implacable 
war must be made against Mourzoufie, and that the nation 
that had crowned treacheiy and parricide should be punished. 
The prelates and ecclesiastics, more animated than all the 
others, invoked at once the thunders of religion and earthly 
war against the usurper of the imperial throne, and against 
the Greeks, untrue to their sovereign, untrue to God him- 
self. Above all, they could not pardon the subjects of 
Mourzoufie, for willingly remaining plunged in the (krkness 
of heresy, and escaping, by an impious revolt, from the 
domination of the Holy See. They promised all the indul- 
gences of the sovereign pontiff ana all the riches of Greece 


to the warriors called upon to avenge the cause of God and 

Whilst the Crusaders thus breathed nothing but war 
agunst the emperor and people of Constantinople, Mour- 
Koufle was preparing to repel their attacks ; he earnestly 
endeayoured to attach the inhabitants of the capital to his 
cause ; he reproached the great with their indifference and 
effeminacy, and laid before them the example of the multi- 
tude ; to mcrease his popularity and fill his treasury, he per- 
secuted the courtiers oi Alexius and Isaac, and confiscated 
the property of all those who had enriched themselves in 
pubhc offices.* The usurper at the same time set about 
reestablishing discipline among the troops, and augmenting 
the fortifications of the city ; he no longer indulged in plea- 
sures or allowed himself repose ; as he was accused of the 
^atest crimes, he had not only to contend for empire, but 
for impunity ; remorse doubled his activity, excited his bra- 
very, and proved to him that he could have no safety but in 
victory. He was constantly seen parading the streets, vrith 
his sword by his side, and an iron club in his hand, animat- 
ingthe courage of the people and the soldiers. 
^The Greeks, however, contented themselves with declaim- 
ing against the Crusaders. After having made another 
attempt to bum the fleet of the Venetians, they shut them- 
selves up within their walls, and supported with patience 
the insults and menaces of the Latina.f The Crusaders ap- 
peared to .have nothing to fear but famine ; as they beean to 
feel the want of provisions, Henry of Hainault, brother of 
the count of Flanders, undertook, in order to obtain sup- 
plies for the army, an expedition to the shores of the Euxine 
Sea ; and, followed by several knights, laid siege to Philea. 
The city of Philea was the ancient Philopolis, celebrated in 
the heroic ages of antiquity for the palace in which were 

* MonROQfle depriTcd Nioetas of the place of Logothete, to give it to 
his brother-iD-law Philocales. Nicetas treats Mounonfle wiUi mach 
fleverity, and among the reproaches he addresses to him, we may remark 
one which suffices to paint the court of Byzantium. The greatest crime 
of the usurper was not that of having obtained soTereignty by parridde^ 
but pot^ning the distribution of his faroun. 

t The two attempts to bum the Venetian fleet are described in a letter 
of Baldwin to the pope. — See Getta Imnoeent. The marshal of Cham^ 
pagne only mentioni the first attempt of the Greeks. 


received Jason and the Argonauts, who, like tlie French 
knights, had left their country, to seek distant adventures 
«nd perils. Henrj of Hainault, after a short resistance 
from the inhabitants, made himself nAister of the city, in 
"which he met with a considerable booty, and found provi- 
sions in abundance ; the latter he transported by sea to the 

Mourzonfle, being iDformed of this excursion, marched 
out, W night, with a numerous body of troops, and placed 
himself in ambush on the route which Henry of Hamault 
would take on his return to the camp. The Greeks attacked 
the Crusaders unexpectedly, in the liill persuasion that their 
victory would be an easy one; but the Frank warriors, 
without displaying the least alarm, closed in their ranks, and 
made so finn and good a resistance, that the ambuscaders 
themselves were very quickly obliged to fly. Mourzoufle 
was upon the point of falling into the hands of his enemies, 
and only owea his safety to the swiftness of his horse ; ha 
left behmd on the field of battle, his buckler, his arms, and 
the standard of the Yirfi;in, which the emperors were accus- 
tomed to have borne before them in all great perils. The 
loss of this ancient and revered banner was a source of 
great regret to the Greeks. The Latins, on their part, 
when they saw the standard and image of the patroness of 
Byzantium floating amongst their victorious ranks, were 
persuaded that the mother of God had abandoned the 
Greeks, and declared herself favourable to their cause. 

After this defeat, the Greeks became convinced that 
there existed no other means of safety for them but the 
fortification of their capital ; it was much more ^asy for 
them to find workmen than soldiers, and a hundred thou- 
sand men laboured day and night at the reparation of the 
wfdls. The subjects oi Mourzoufle appeared satisfied that 
their ramparts would defend them, and handled the imple- 
ments of masonry without repugnance, in the hope that 
they would prevent the necessity for their wieldmg the 
sword or lance. 

Mourzoufle had learnt to dread the courage of his ene- 
mies, and as strongly doubted the valour of his subjects ; 
therefore, before risking any firesh warlike attempts, he 
determined to sue for peace, and demanded an interview 



•mth the leaders of the Crusaders. The lords and barons 
refused with horror to have an interview with the usurper 
of the throne, the murderer, the executioner of Alexius ; but 
the love of peace, and the cause of humanity, induced the 
doge of Venice to consent to listen to the proposals of 
Mourzoufle. Henry Dandolo repaired in his galley to the 
point of the gulf, and the usurper, mounted on horseback, 
approached Inm as near as possible. The conference was 
long and animated. The doge required Mourzoufle to pay 
immediately five thousand pounds' weight of gold, to aid the 
Crusaders m their expedition to Syria, and again, to swear 
obedience to the Eomish church. After a long altercation, 
.Mourzoufle promised to give the Latins the money and 
assistance they demanded; but he could not consent to 
submit to the yoke of the Church of Eome.* The doge, 
astonished that, after having outraged^all the laws of Heaven 
and nature, he should attach so much importance to reli- 
gious opinions, casting a glance of contempt at Mourzoufle, 
asked him, if the Grreek religion excused treachery and 
parricide ?t The usurper, although much irritated, dissem- 
bled his anger, and was endeavouring to justify his con- 
duct, when the conference was interrupted by some Latin 

Mourzoufle, on his return to Constantinople, convinced 
that he must prepare for war, set earnestly aoout his task, 
and determined to die with arms in his hand. By his 
orders, the walls and towers that defended the city on the 
side of the port, were elevated many feet. He constructed 
upon the waUs galleries of several stages, from which the 
soldiers might launch arrows and javelins, and employ 
balistas and other machines of war ; at the top of each 
tower was placed a drawbridge, which, when lowered upon 
the vessels, might aflbrd the besieged a means of pursuing 
their enemies, even to their own fleet. 

* Dandolo demanded of Mourzoufle fifty centenaries of gold, which 
have been valued at 50,000 pounds' weight of gold, or 48,000,000 of 
francs (about ^^2,000,000 sterling.— TaANg.). Nicetag alone speaks of 
this interview, of which Villehardouin and other historians make no 

t The whole of this interview militates very strongly, as indeed do all 
the scenes in which the doge is an actor, against the story of his blindness. 


The Crosadera, although supported hj their natural 
braveiy, could not view all these preparations with indifTer- 
ence.* The most intrepid could not help feeling some 
inquietude on comparing the small number of the Franks 
with the imperial army and the population of Constanti- 
nople ; all the resources thej had till that time found in 
their alliance with the emperors were about to fail them, 
without their having any hope of supplying their place but 
by some miraculous victory: for they hid no succour to 
look for from the West. Every day war became more 
dangerous, and peace more difficult ; the time was gone by 
for retreat. In this situation, such were the spirit and 
character of the heroes of this crusade, that they drew fresh 
strength from the very circumstances that would appear 
likely to have depressed them, and filled them with dread ; 
the greater the danger, the more courage and firmness they 
displayed ; menaced on all sides, expecting to meet with no 
asylum on either sea or land, there remained no other part 
to take but that of besieging a city from which they could 
not retire with saftty : thus nothing could overcome their 
invincible bravery .f 

On viewing the towers that the Greeks considered as a 
certain means of safety, the leaders assembled in their 
camp, and shared amon|;st them the spoils of the empire 
and the capital, of which they entertained no doubt of 
achieving the conquest. It was decided in the council of the 
princes, barons, and knights, that a new emperor should be 
nominated instead of Mourzoufle, and that this emperor 
should be chosen from the victorious army of the Latins. 
The chief of the new empire should possess by right a 
fourth of the conquest, with the two palaces of J^lachemss 
and Bucoleon. The cities and lands of the empire, as well 
as the booty they should obtain in the capital, were to be 
distributed among the Franks and Venetians, with the 

* The monuments we have consulted for the second siege of Constan- 
tinople are the Hitiory of Villebardooin, the reign of Monrzonfle in 
Nicetas, the account of Gunther, and the second letter of Baldwin to the 
soTereign pontifT, which is found in the Life of Innocent {Oetta Innocent,). 

t Eidem civitati de qail fagere non audebant, obsidionem ponebant. — 
Gunlher, The same Gunther describes the Crusaders as trembling and 
distracted : De Tictorii tantee multitudinis obtinend&, sive expngnatione 
urbis nulla els spet poterat arridere. 

124 HIBTOBT OP TH£ CB178iJ>X0. 

eondition of rendering homage to the emperor. In tho same 
council regulations were made to assign the proportions of 
the Latin clergy, and of the lords and barons. They rega* 
lated, according to the feudal laws, the rights and duties of 
the emperors and subjects, of the great and small yassals.* 
Thus Constantinople, under the dominion of the Greeks, 
beheld before its walls a small band of warriors, who, helm 
on head, and sword in hand, abolished in her walls the 
legislation of Greece, and imposed upon her beforehand the 
laws of the West. By this act of legislation, which they 
derived from Europe, the knights and barons appeared to 
take possession of the empire; and, whilst making war 
against the inhabitants of Constantinople, might imagine 
that they were already fighting for the .safety and glory of 
their own country. 

In the first siege of Byzantium, the French had been 
desirous of attacking the city by land, but experience had 
taught them to appreciate properly the wiser counsels of 
the Venetians. They determined, with an unanimous voice, 
to direct all their efforts to an attack by sea. They con- 
veyed into the vessels the arms, provisions, and appoint- 
ments of all kinds; and the whole army embarked on 
Thursday, the 8th day of April, 1204. On the morrow, 
with the first rays of the sun, the fleet which bore the 
knights and their horses, the pilgrims and all they possessed, 
the touts, the machines of the Crusaders, and the destinies 
of a great empire, heaved anchor, and crossed the breadth of 
the gulf. The ships and galleys, arranged in line, covered 
the sea for the space of half a league. The si^ht of the 
towers and ramparts, bristling with arms and soldiers, and 
covered with murderous machmes and long tubes of brass, 
from which poured the Greek fire, did not in the least 
intimidate the warriors of the West. The Greeks had 
trembled with fright at seeing the fleet of the Crusaders in 
motion ; but as they could look for no safely but in resist- 
ance, they appeared disposed to brave all penis in defence of 
their property and their families. 

Mourzoufle had pitohed his tents in the part of the city 
ravaged by the fire ; his army was encamped amidst ruins, 

* Tbli treaty, made nnder the waUt of Constantinople, is still pn* 
Mr?ed, and is to be found in Mmniori, voL zii. 


tad Yob soldiers bad notlimg beneath their eyes but melan- 
choly pictures, the sight of which he thought must neces- 
sarily excite them to yengeance. From the summit of one 
of the seyen hills, the emperor was able to view the contest, 
to send succours where he saw they were wanted, and to re- 
animate at every moment the courage of those who defended 
ihe walls and towers. 

At the first signal, the Greeks put all their machines in 
full operation, and endeavoured to defend the approach to 
the ramparts ; but several ships soon gained the shore ; the 
ladders are planted, and the walls shake beneath the con- 
tinuous blows of the rams. The attack and defence proceed 
with equal fury. The Greeks fight with advantage from 
the tops of their elevated towers ; the Crusaders, everywhere 
overpowered by numbers, cannot open themselves a pas- 
sage, and find death at the foot of the ramparts they bum 
to surmount. The ardour for fight, itself, produced dis- 
order among the assailants, and confusion m their fleet. 
The Latins faced all perils, and sustained the impetuous 
shock of the Greeks till the third hour of the evening : " It 
was then," says the marshal of Champagne, " that fortune and 
our sins decreed that we should be repulsed." The leaders, 
dreading the destruction of their fleet and army, ordered 
the retreat to be sounded. When the Greeks saw the 
Crusaders drawing oif, they believed that their capital was 
saved ; the people of Byzantium flocked to the churches to 
return thanks to Heaven for so great a victory, and, by the 
excess of their transports, proved how great the fear had 
been with which the Latins had inspired them. 

On the evening of the same day, the doge and barons 
assembled in a church near the sea, to deliberate upon their 
future proceedings ; they spoke with deep grief of the check 
they had sustained, and expatiated strongly upon the neces- 
sity of promptly retrieving their defeat.* " The Crusaders 
were stUl the same men that had already surmounted the 
ramparts of Byzantium; the Greeks were still the same 
frivolous, pusillanimous nation, that could oppose no other 
arms but those of cunning to those of valour. The soldiers 

* Et Ik, il eot maintes choses all^gn^es le troavant en grand emoy 
ceiut de Voit, pour lenr %tit ainri pris ee jour }k,-^VUl€hardmtm, 
liv. ▼. 


of Mourzoufle had been able to resist for one da/f ; but th^ 
would soon remember that the Latins had conquered them 
many times ; the recollections of the past were sufficient to 
revive the confidence of the one party, and to fill the others 
with terror. Besides, it was well mown that the Qreeks 
only contended for the triumph of usurpation and parricide ; 
whilst the Crusaders fought for the triumph of numanity 
and justice. Gk>d would recognise his true servants, and 
would protect his own cause.'* 

These discourses could not reassure all the Crusaders, 
and many proposed to change the point of attack, and make 
a new assault on the side of the Propontis. The Venetians 
did not agree with this opinion, and dreaded lest the fleet 
should be drawn away by the currents of the sea. Some of 
the leaders despaired of the success of the enterprise ; and, 
in their despair, would have been very willing, says an eye- 
witness, "that thewinds and the waves should carry them away 
beyond the Archipelago.*'* The ad\ice of the Venetians was, 
however, adopted ; and the council decided that the attack 
upon Constantinople should be renewed on the same side, 
and at the same point at which the army had been repulsed. 
Two days were employed in repairing the vessels and 
machines; and on the third day, the 12th of April, the 
trumpets once more sounded the signal for battle. The 
fleet got into motion, and advanced in good order towards 
the ramparts of Constantinople. The Greeks, who wero 
still rejoicing over their first advantage, could scarcely 
believe the approach of the Latins to be reality, and their 
surprise was oy no means free from terror. On the other 
side, the Crusaders, who had met with a resistance they had 
not at all expected,, advanced with precaution towarcb the 
ramparts, at the foot of which they had fought in vain. To 
inflame the ardour and emulation of the soldiers, the leaders 
of the Latins had proclaimed, by a herald-at-arms, that he 
that should plant the first banner of the cross upon a tower 
of the city, snould receive a hundred and fifty silver marks. 

The combat soon commenced, and was as quickly general ; 

* £t sachez qa'il y en avait qui eussent volontiers desir^, qae la vague 
et le vent les eussent ravis jusqa'aa dela de Tarchipel ; car k tela ne 
cbaillait ainon qae de parter de Ik, et aller leur voie droite en lean 
maifons. — Idem, 


the defence was no less Tigorous than the attack : beams, 
stones, javelins were hurled from one side to the other, 
crossed or met in mid-air, and fell with a loud noise on the 
ramparts and the ships ; the whole shore resounded with the 
cries of the combatants and the clashing of swords and 
lances. In the fleet, the vessels were joined together, and 
proceeded two by two, in order that upon each point of 
attack, the number of the assailants might correnpond with 
that of the besieged; The drawbridges are soon let down, 
and are covered with intrepid warriors, who threaten the in- 
vasion of the most lofty towers. The soldiers mount in file, 
and eain the battlements ; the opponents seek, attack, and 
repulse each other in a thousand different places. Some, on ' 
the point of seizing victory, are overthrown by a mass of 
stone : others are consumed by the Qreek fire ; but they who 
are repulsed, again return to the charge, and the leaders 
everywhere set an example by mounting to the . assault like 
common soldiers. 

The sun had run half his course, and prodigies of valour 
had not been able to triumph over the resistance of the be* 
sieged, when a strong breeze from the north arose, and 
brought two ships that fought together close under the walls. 
The bishop of Troie and the bishop of Soissons were on 
board of these two vessels, called the Filgrim and the 
Paradise, Scarcely were the drawbridges lowered, than 
two Frank warriors were seen upon one of the towers of 
the city. These two warriors, one of whom was a French- 
man, named D'Urboise, and the other a Venetian, Pietro 
Alberti, drew after them a crowd of their companions, and 
the Greeks were massacred or took to flight. In the con- 
fusion of the melee^ the bhive Alberti was slain by a French- 
man, who mistook him for a Greek, and who, on discovering 
his mistake, attempted to kill himself in despair. The Cru- 
saders, excited by the fight, scarcely perceived this sad and 
tragical scene, but pursued the flying, disordered enemy. 

The banners of the bishops of Troie and Soissons were 
planted on the top of the towers, and attracted the eager 
eyes of the whole army. This sight inflames those who are 
still on board the vessels ; on all sides they press, they rush 
forward, they fly to the escalade. The Franks obtain 
possession of four towers : terror prevails among the Greeks, 

128 ansTOBT ot thb cbvbadxb. 

and the few who resist are slaughtered at every point tliey 
endeayour to' defend ; three of the gates of the city fiiU to 
pieces beneath the strokes of the rams ; the horsemen issue 
from the ships with their horses, and the whole army of the 
Crusaders precipitates itself at once into the city.* A 
horseman (Pierre Bacheux), who preceded his fellows, ad- 
vanced almost alone to the hOl upon which Mourzouile was 
encamped, and the Greeks, in their fright, took him for a 
giant. Nicetas himself says that his helmet appeared as 
krge as a tower; the soldiers of the emperor could not 
stand against the appearance of a single Frank horseman. 
Mourzoufle, abandoned by his troops, fled: the Crusaders 
took possession of the imperial tents, continued their vic- 
torious course into the city, and put to the sword every 
Greek they met with. " It was a horrible spectacle^^^ says 
y illehardouin, " to see women and young children running 
distraeiedlg here and there, trembling and half dead with 
fright, lamenting piteouslg, and begging for mercg^ 

The Crusaders set fire to the quarter they had invaded,t 
and the flames, driven by the wind, announced to the other 
extremities of the city the presence of an irritated conqueror. 
Terror and despair nrevaded in every street of Constan- 
tinople, ^ome Greek soldiers retired to the palace, whilst 
others, to escape recognition, threw away both their clothes 
and their arms. The people and the clergy took refuge 
in the churches, and tne more wealthy inhabitants, in dl 
parts, endeavoured to conceal their most valuable property 
Dy burying it in the earth. Many rushed out of the city, 
without at all knowing whither to direct their steps. :{ 

* According to Gonther, the taking of Constantinople was more won- 
derful than all that has been related by Homer and the poets of antiquity. 

t Oanther says it was a German count that set fire to the city, — comes 
Ttuionicui; he did it to prerent the Greeks from rallying :— Comes 
Teutonicus juasit urbem in qu&dam parte suocendi, ut Grcci duplid 
laborantes incommodo, belli scilicet atque incendiit facilius vincerentur ; 
qnod et factum est, et hoc illi consilio victi penitiU in fugam conversi 

X The crowd of Greeks fled principally by the Golden Gate. M. le 
Chevalier, in his Voyags de la FropontidSt infonns us that vestiges of 
the Golden Gate are still to- be seen within the inolosure of the seven 
towers. This gate was a triumphal arch erected by Theodosius, after hit 
vieboiy ovor Msidmus I It was suiDountad by a ttatue «f Victory fa hroBM^ 


"Wlnlflt an were flying before them, the Crusaders were 
in a state of astoniBnmcAit at their own victory. At the 
approach of night, they dreaded an ambuscade, and did not 
venture to pursue the conquered enemy further ; the Vene- 
tians encamped within sigkit of their vessels ; the count of 
Planders, by a happy augury, occupied the imperial tents, 
and the marquis of Montferrat advanced towards the palace 
of Blachem^. The Latins entertained no idea that the 
conflict was ended, and kept careful watch under the ram- 
parts they had invaded and won. 

Mourzoufle went through many quarters of the city, en- 
deavouring to rally the soldiers : he spoke to them of glory, 
he invoked the name of their country, he promised rich re- 
wards for valour : but the voice of patriotism was no longer 
listened to, and neither the love of glory nor the hopes of 
reward could aflect men whose whole thoughts were engaged 
in the means of saving their lives. Mourzoufle no longer 
inspired either respect or confidence, and the people, in 
reply to his exhortations, reproached him with his parricide, 
and attributed to him all the calamities of the war. When 
he found himself without hope, it became necessary to en- 
deavour to escape both the pursuit of the conquerors and 
the resentment of the conquered, and he embarked secretly 
on the Propontis, with the purpose of seeking an army, or 
rather an asylum, in the mountains of Thrace. When his 
flight became known in Constantinople, his name was loaded 
with maledictions, and, as if it wps necessary that an em- 
peror should be present at the fall of the empire, a distracted 
crowd flocked to the church of St. Sophia, to choose a new 

Theodore Ducas and Theodore Lascaris solicited the 
suflrages of the assembly, and contended for a throne that 

and onumented profq«eIj with gold. Od the remains of this gate maj 
itill be read these Latin Tersea :^ 

Theodosi jnsais, gemino nee mense peracto, 
Constantinus ovana hnc moenia firaia locavit ; 
Tarn dtb tam stabilem Pallas vix conderet arcem. 

Raou] de Dicetto, quoted by Dncange, says that these words were upon 
the Golden Gate :— Quando veniet rex flavua occidentalis, ego per meipaam 
aperiar. Raonl de Dicetto wrote thirteen years before the taking of 


no longer existed. Lascaris was chosen emperor, but he did 
not dare to assume the imperial crown. This prince pos- 
sessed both firmness and spirit; the Greeks even boasted 
of his skill in war, and he undertook to reanimate their 
courage and arouse their patriotism. '^ The Latins," said 
he, " are few, and advance with trembling caution into a city 
that has still numberless defenders ; the Crusaders are a&aid 
to leave their ships at any distance, as they know they are 
their only refuge m case of defeat : pressed by the approach 
of danger, they have called in the assistance of fire as their 
faithful auxiliary, and conceal their fears behind a rampart 
of flames and a heap of ruins. The warriors of the West 
neither fight for rehgion, nor their country, nor their pro- 
perty, nor the honour of their families. The Greeks, on 
the contrary, defend all they hold most dear, and must carry 
to the contest every sentiment that can increase the courage 
and inflame the zeal of citizens. If you are still Eomans," 
added Lascaris, " the victory is easy ; twenty thousand bar^ 
barians have shut themselves up "Within your walls ; fortune 
has given them up to our arms." The new emperor then 
addressed the soldiers and the imperial guards ; he repre- 
sented to them that their safety was inseparably connected 
with that of Constantiaople, that the enemy would never 
pardon being driven back by them several times from the 
ramparts of the capital ; that in victory they would find all 
the advantages of fortune, all the pleasures* of life : whilst 
in flight, neither land nor sea could aflbrd them an asylmn, 
and that shame, miseiy, and death itself would follow their 
footsteps everywhere. Lascaris did not neglect to flatter 
the priae, and endeavour to kindle the zeal of the patricians. 
He reminded them of the heroes of ancient Home, and pre- 
sented to their valour the great examples of history. " It 
was to their arms Providence had confided the safety of the 
imperial city ; if, contrary to aU hopes, the country should 
be subdued, they could have but few regrets in abandoning 
life, and would find perhaps some glory in dying on the 
same day on which the old empire of the Csesars should be 
doomed to fall." 

The soldiers only replied to his speech by demanding their 
pay ; the people listened to Lascans with more surprise than 


confidence, and the patricians preserved a gloomy sileiice, 
sensible to no other feeling but a profound despair. The 
trumpets of the Crusaders were^ soon heard, and at this 
signal, terror seized even the bravest ; there was no longer 
any idea of disputing the victory with the Latins. Lascarisy 
leu alone, was himself obliged to abandon a city which he 
could find no one to assist him in defending. Thus Con- 
stantinople, that had beheld two emperors in one night, was 
once again without a master, and presented the image of a 
vessel without a rudder, dashed about by the winds, and 
ready to perish amidst the howling of the tempest. The 
conflagration begun by the Latins, extended to several other 
quarters, and consumed, by the admission of the barons, 
more houses than three ox the greatest cities of either 
France or Germany contained. The fire continued its 
ravages during the whole night, and before day the Cru- 
saders prepared, by the light of its flames, to follow up their 
victory. Kanged in order of battle, they were advancing 
with precaution and mistrust, when their ears were saluted 
with supplicating voices that filled the air with lamentations 
and prayers. Women, children, and old men, preceded by 
the clergy, bearing crosses and images of saints, came in 
procession, to throw themselves at the feet of the conquerors. 
The leaders allowed their hearts to be touched by the cries 
and entreaties of this weeping crowd, and a henud-at-arms 
was ordered to pass through the ranks, and proclaim the 
laws of clemency ; the soldiers were commanded to spare 
the lives of the inhabitants, and to respect the honour of 
women and maidens. The Latin clergy joined their exhor- 
tations with those of the leaders of the army, and threatened 
with the vengeance of the Church all who should abuse vic- 
tory by outraging humanity. 

In the mean time the Crusaders advanced amidst the 
braying of trumpets and the noise of clarions, and their 
banners were soon planted in the principal quarters of the 
city. When Boniface entered the palace of Bucoleon, 
wmch was supposed to be occupied by the imperial guard, 
he was surprised to find a great number of women, of the 
first families of the empire, whose only defence was their 
groans and tears. Marguerite, daughter of the king of 


Hungary, and wife of Isaac, and Agnes, daughter of a king 
of France,* the wife of two emperors, threw themselves at 
the feet of the harons,,and implored their mercy. The 
marquis of Montferrat respected their misfortunes, and 
placed them under the protection of a guard. Whilst 
Boniface occupied the palace of Bucoleon, Henry of Hai- 
nault took possession of that of Blachemie; these two 
palaces, filled with immense riches, were preserved from 
pillage, and were exempted from the lamentahle scenes 
which, during several days, desolated the city of Constan- 

The Crusaders, impatient to gather the treasures they 
had shared heforehand, spread themselves through all the 
quarters of the capital, and carried off, without pity or con- 
sideration, eveiytning that offered itself to their avidity. 
The houses of the poorest citizens were no more respected 
than the mansions of the rich. The Ghreeks, plundered of 
their property, ill-treated hy the conquerors, and turned out 
of their homes, implored the humanity of the counts and 
barons, and pressed around the marquis of Montferrat, cry- 
ing, ** Holy kin^ marquU, havepitv upon us!*^ Boniface was 
touched by theur prayers, and endeavoured to recall the Cru- 
saders to some sentiments of moderation ; but the license of 
the soldiers increased with the sight of booty ; the most disso- 
lute and most undisciplined gave the signal, and marched at 

* Agnes, daughter of Lonii VII. , had been at the age of eigbt years, 
given in marriage to Alexiiis Comnenns, the son of Mannel, in 1179. 
After the death of Alezina, bis murderer Andronicns usurped the empire 
and married Agnes, but had no children by her. Agnes remained a 
widow at Constantinople to the time of its being taken, when she married 
Branas, who was attached to the party of the latins. 

t Nicetas speaks of the carnage which followed the taking of Conatan- 
titiople. We have quoted the words even of Villehardouin, who does not 
materially contradict Nicetas. The pope in his letters warmly reproached 
the Crusaders on this subject. Guntheronly carries the number of slain, 
on the entrance of the Crusaders into Jerusalem, to two thousand persons, 
and attributes this »Iaughter to the Latins established at Constantinople, 
who bad great canse of complaint against the Greeks. The same historian 
informs us that the ecclesiastics that followed the army contributed, by 
their discourses, to put an end to the mavsacre. He does not omit this 
occasion to praise the piety and humanity of Martin Litx, who went 
through the ranks of the victorious army, preaching moderation to' lfa« 


tbeir heiid, and tbeir example led on all the rest : the in* 
toxkation of yictorv had no longer anj restraint, — it waa 
sensible to neither iear nor pity.* 

When the Cruaaders discontinued the slaughter, thej had 
recourse to every kind of outrage and violence to plunder 
the conquered; no spot in Constantinc^le was free from 
brutal search. In spite of the frequently»repeated prohibi- 
tions of their leaders and priests, they respected neither the 
modesty of women nor the sanctity of churches. Some 
soldiers and followers of the army plundered the tombs and 
coffins of the emperors ; the body of Justinian, which ages 
had spared, and which presented itself to their eyes in a 
fresh and undecayed state, could not repel their sacnlegious 
hands, or make them respect the peace of the grave; in 
every temple where a rag of silk shone, or a particle of gold 
glittered, their greedy fmgera were stretched out to clutch 
them. The altar of the Virgin, which decorated the church of 
St. Sophia, and which was admired as a masterpiece of art, was 
beaten to pieces, and the veil of the sanctuary was tern to 
rags. The conquerors played at dice upon the marble tables 
which represented the apostles, and got drunk oat of the 
cups reserved for divine service. Horses and mules led inte 
the sanctuary, bent beneath the weight of the spoils, and, 
pierced by sword-^ints, stained with their blood and their 
ordure the vestibule of St. Sophia. A prostitute girl, whom 
Nicetas calls the follower of demons, the priestess of furies, 
mounted the patriarchal puloit, sang an immodest song, and 
danced in the church, amiost a crowd of soldiers, as if to 
insult the ceremonies of religion. 

The Greeks could not behold these impious scenes without 
troubling with horror. Nicetas, whilst deploring the mis* 
fortunes of the empire and the Greek Church, dedaima 
with vehemence agamst the barbarous race of the Franks. 
" Here," says he, " is what was promised by that golden 
gor^, that haughty bearing, those elevated eyebrows, that 
ckMwly shaven beard, that hand so ready te shed blood, tiiiose 

* There was nothiog so difficult, sajs Nioetas, as to softon the fiercf 
temper, appease the anger, or gain the a ectioDS of these harbarians, 
Thdr bile was so heated, that it wf^j nqvure a word to set it in a blase ; 
H waa a ndinloiif f rndrit alw n g to muia^n to laote thsm tiMtaUa, a 
foUy to apeak reason to them. 


noetrilfl breatliing anger, tliat proud eye, tliat cruel disposi- 
tion, that prompt and hurried utterance." * The historian 
of Byzantium reproaches the Crusaders with having sur- 
passed the Saracens in barbarity, and reminds them of the 
example of the soldiers of SalacQn, who, when masters of 
Jerusalem, neither violated the modesty of matrons and 
virgins, nor filled the sepulchre of the Saviour with bloody 
carcasses, nor subjected Christians to fire, sword, hunger, or 

The country on the shores of the Bosphorus offered a no 
less deplorable spectacle than the capital. Villages, churches, 
country-houses were all devastated and given over to pillage. 
A distracted crowd covered the roads, and wandered about 
at hazard, pursued by fear, bending under fatigue, and 
uttering cries -of despair. Senators, patricians, the offspring 
of a family of emperors, strayed homeless about, covered 
with rags, seeking for any miserable asylum. When the 
church of St. Sophia was pillaged, the patriarch fled away, 
imploring the charity of passengers ; all the rich fell into 
inmgence, and inspired nothing but contempt; the most 
illustrious nobility, the highest dirties, the splendour of 
talents or virtues, possessed nothmg to create respect or 
attract admiration. Misery, like inevitable death, effaced 
all distinctions, and confounded all ranks ; the dregs of the 
people completed the spoliation of the fugitives, at the same 
time insulting their misfortunes. A senseless multitude 
rejoiced at the public evils, applauded the degradation of the 
noble and the nch, and callea these disastrous days, days of 
justice and equality. 

Nicetas describes his misfortune and his own deplorable 
adventures ; the house he had inhabited under the reign of 
the emperors was consumed by the flames of the second 
conflagration: having retired with his family to another 
house, built near the church of St. Sophia, he soon found 
himself in danger in this last asylum, and only owed his 
safetv to devoted friendship and gratitude. A Venetian 
merchant, whom he had saved irom the fury of the Greeks 
before the flight of Alexius, was desirous, in his turn, of 

* This is a yeiy remarkable passage; it describes the hero of the 
crasades with the pencil of the painter af well as with the pen of the 
historian.— -Trans. 


saving bis benefactor ; be armed bimself with a sword and a 
lance, assumed the dress of a soldier of the cross, and as bo 

rke the languages of tbe "West, be defended tbe entrance 
tbe bouse of Nicetas, saying it was bis, tbe price of bis 
blood, sbed in figbt. Tbis vigilant sentinel at first repulsed 
all aggressors, and braved a thousand perils; a model of 
fidelity and virtue, amidst tbe borrid disorders tbat desolated 

Tbe turbulent crowd of soldiers tbat filled tbe streets and 
penetrated everywhere, became indignant that a single bouse 
should be thus exempt from their brutal searches. The 
despairing Venetian at length came to Nicetas, imd told him 
that it was totally out of bis power to defend him any longer. 
" If you remain here,'* said be, " to-morrow, perhaps, you 
will be loaded with chains, and your family become a prey 
to all the violences of the conquerors. Follow me, and I 
will conduct you out of the gates of Constantinople." 
Nicetas, with bis wife and children, followed the faithful 
Venetian : their liberator, in armour, marched at their head, 
and led them as if they were prisoners. 

This unfortunate family proceeded, filled with fear, meeting 
at every step soldiers greedy of pillage, who ill-treated the 
Greeks they plundered, ana threatened every woman with 
insult. Nicetas, and some of his friends who bad come to 
join him, carried their children in their arms, the only wealth 
that Heaven had left them ; and defended alone by the pity 
which their despair and misery inspired. They walked 
together, placing their wives and daughters in the centre, 
after having advised the youngest to blacken their faces 
with earth. In spite of this precaution, the beauty of one 
young girl attracted the attention of a soldier, and she was 
borne away from the arms of her father, weighed down by 
age and infirmities, Nicetas, touched by the tears of the 
old man, flew after the ravisher, and addressing himself to 
all the warriors be met, he implored their pity, and conjured 
them, in the name of Heaven, the protector of virtue, in the 
name of their own families, to snatch a daughter from dis- 
honour, to save a father from despair. The Frank warriors 
were affected by his prayer, and the unfortunate father 
soon saw bis daughter restored to him, the only hope of 
his exile, the last consolation of bis grey hairs. Nicetas 


and hifl companions in trouble encountered still further dan« 
gers, but at length got safely out of Constantinople by the 
Golden Gate, happy at being able to quit a country so latelj 
the object of all their affections. The generous Venetian 
received their blessings, and in return prayed Heaven to 
protect them in their exile. 

Nicetas, with tears, embraced his liberator, whom he never 
had the ^ood fortune to see a^ain ; then casting a look upon 
Constantinople, upon his unnappy country, he addressed 
to it these touching complaints, which express, the griefs of 
his exile, and which he himself haa transmitted to us :• — 
" Queen of Cities, what power haa been able to separate 
us from thee ! What consolation shall we find on issuing 
from thy walls, as naked as we issued from the bosom of our 
mothers ! Become the sport of strangers, the companions 
of wild animals that inhabit the forests, we shall never again 
visit thy august domes, and can only fly with terror around 
thee, like sparrows round the spot where their nest haa been 

Kicetas arrived with his family at Cylindria, and after- 
wards retired to Nice, where he employed himself in retracing 
the history of the misfortunes of his country. 

Constantinople did not cease to be the theatre of the 
frightful deeds of violence that war brings in its train. 
Amidst the sanguinary sports of victory, the Latins, to 
insxdt the effeminate manners of the Greeks, clothed them- 
selves in long flowing robes, painted of various colours ; thej 
fastened to the heads of their horses linen hoods with their 
silken cords, in which the Orientals dress themselves ; whilst 
others paraded the streets carrying in their hands, instead of 
a sword, some paper and an ink-horn ; thus ridiculing the 
conquered, whom they termed scribes and copyers. 

The Greeks had on all occasions insulted tne ignorance of 
the Latins; the knights, vnthout seeking to retort upon 
their enemies for their afironts, esteemed nothing but the 
trophies of valour and the labours of war, and held in conr 
tempt the quiet occupations of peace. With these disposi- 

* Hie lamentetioiu of Nieetaa are not alwaji natanl ; wfailtt deploring 
liie hta of Byiaotiiam he say<, " I complained to the walla, that they alone 
sbpold be ij^qensible to oaUuiiitias, and thtomid remain ctandiAg, inatead of 
VUfH^ ^way Jn tqus.'* 


tions it was not likely they Bhould spare the monuments tbit 
decorated the public places, the palaces, or the edifices of 
Byzantium. Constantinople, which to this period had 
stood erect amidst the ruins of several empires, had col- 
lected within its walls the scattered relics of the arts, and 
was proud to exhibit the masterpieces that had been saved 
from the destruction of barbarous a^es. The bronze, in 
n^hich breathed the genius of antiquity, was cast into the 
furnace, and converted into money, to satisfy the greedy 
soldiers. The heroes and gods of the Nile, those of ancient 
G-reece and of ancient Borne, the masterpieces of Praxiteles, 
Phidias, and the most celebrated artists, fell beneath the 
strokes of the conquerors. 

Nicetas, who deplores the loss of these monuments, has 
left us a description, from which the history of art may derive 
some advantage.* The historian of Byzantium informs us 
that in the Place of Constantino stood, before the siege, the 
statue of Juno, and that of Paris offering to Venus the 
prize of beauty, or the apple of discord. The statue of Juno, 
which had formerly adorned the temple of the goddess at 
Samos, was of so colossal a size, that when it was destroyed 
by the Crusaders, eight harnessed oxen were required to 
drag the gigantic head to the palace of Bucoleon. In the 
same place was erected an obelisk of a square form, which 
astonished the spectator by the multitude and variety of the 
objects it presented to his view. On the sides of this obelisk 
the artist had represented, in basso-relievo, aU sorts of birds 
saluting the return of the sun, villagers employed in their 
rustic labours, shepherds playing on their pipes, sheep 
bleating, lambs bounding on the grass ; further on, a tran- 
quil sea and fishes of a thousand sorts, some taken alive, 
others breaking the nets and regaining their deep retreats ; 
at the back of the landscape, naked cupids playing and 
throwing apples at each other ; at the top of the obelisk, 

* The elflyenth and twelfth ▼olames of the Memoirt (ifiAe Royal Soeieiy 
qf Gotiingen contain a beautiful work of the illuBtrious Heyne, upon the 
monuments of «rt that have existed at Constantinople. In the first 
memoir he gives the nomenclature of the ancient monuments, — Priwa 
ArttM Opera. In the second those that were erected under tbe'Cmperors 
of Bynntium. In two other memoirs, the same learned author deacribea 
the loss of these itfme monuments : De Inieriiu Operum cum aniiqwt tarn 
terioris miaf%9. 

Vol. it.— .7 


whicli terminated in a pyramidal form, was the figure of a 
woman that turned with the least breath of air, which waa 
called the attendant of the winds. 

An equestrian statue* ornamented the place of Mount 
Taurus ; the horse appeared to throw up the dust 'with his 
feet, and outspoed the winds in his course. As the horse- 
man had his arm extended towards the sun, some supposed 
it to represent Joshua, commanding the star of day to stand 
still, on the plains of Gabaon; others believed the artist 
meant to describe Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus.t 

A colossal statue of Hercules,J attributed to Lysippua, 
was one of the ornaments of the Hippodrome ; the demigod 
had neither his bow nor his club ; he was seated on a bed of 
osier ;§ his left knee bent, sustained his elbow ; his head 
reclining on his left hand ; his pensive looks and air ex- 

^ The Bellerophon. This atatue is that of Theododos, showing a 
trophy placed upon a neighbouring column ; it was thus the Pacificator 
was represented : fuit a Deo paeijfcatoris habiiu$. Nicetas says that in 
his left hand he held a globe. The statues of the other emperors of Con- 
stantinople present a similar sign, to which a cross is attached. The 
people believed that under the hoof of the left fore foot, was the figure of 
a Venetian or a Bulgarian, or of a man of some other country which had 
no intercourse with the Romans. The statue being destroyed by the 
Latins, it was said that the figure of a Bulgarian was found concealed in 
the hoof, crossed by a nail and incrusted in lead. This statue came from 
Antioch in Syria. At the quadrilateral base was a basso 'relievo, in which 
the populace, ever superstitious, fancied they beheld the prediction of the 
fall of the empire. They even said that the Russians there represented 
would accomplish the prediction. 

f One of the French translators of Gibbon, of a single statue has made 
two ; he speaks of a statue of Joshua and of another of Bellerophon. It 
is true that this gross error is only met with in one French translation ; 
the English original says that in the opinion of the vulgar, this statud 
passed for that of Joshua, but that a more classical tradition recognised 
in it that of Bellerophon and Pegasus ; the free and spirited attitu49 of the 
courser indicating that he trod on air rather than on the earth. 

X Heyne attributes it to Lysippus^ he thinks it is the same as the 
colossal Hercules of Tarentum, which was brought to Rome and placed in 
the Capitol. From this city it went to Constantinople, with ten other 
statues, under the consulate of Julian and the reign of Constantino, that 
is to say, about 322 ; but it was not till after being exhibited in the Basilio 
that it was placed in the Hippodrome. 

§ Gibbon calls this an oner ba»ket; Michaud says, vn lit d*o»ier, 
which I have preferred. I can imagine Hercules sitting upon a bed or 
mattress of osier, but not upon a basket. — Trans. 


preesing the vexation and Borrow caused bv the jealonsj of 
Eurystheus. The shoulders and chest of Hercules were 
broad, his hair was curled, and his limbs were large and 
muscular ; hiS leg alone exceeded in height the stature of an 
ordinary man. The skin of the Nemean lion, exhibited over 
the shoulders of the son of Alcmena, the erected mane and 
the head of the animal, which might be fancied still to roar 
and terrify the passers by, who stopped to contemplate the 

Not far from the terrible Hercules, was a group of an ass 
and its driver, which Augustus placed in his colony of Nico- 
polis, to perpetuate the remembnmce of a singular circum- 
stance that had foretold the victory of Actium to him. 
Near this were the hyena or she-wolf that suckled Komulua 
and Bemus, a monument from the old nations of the "West ;• 
the sphinx, with the face of a woman, dragging frightful 
animals behind her ; the crocodile, an inhabitant of the Nile, 
with his tail covered with horrible scales ; a man fighting 
with a lion ; an elephant with his supple trunk ; and the 
antique Scylla, showmg before, the features of a woman, with 
large breasts and a deformed figure; and behind, such 
monsters as those that pursued Ulysses and his companions. 
In the same place was an eagle clutching a serpent in his 
talons, and bearing it away towards the azure vault ; the 
bronze beautifully exhibited the pain of the reptile, and the 
haughty fierceness of the bird of Jupiter. When the sun 
shone on the horizon, the extended wmgs of the king of the 
air denoted, by Hnes skilfully traced, the twelve hours of the 

All who, in that gross age, preserved anv taste for the 
arts, admired the figure of a young woman, her hair plaited 
on her brow, and gathered into a knot behind, placed upon 
a column of the Circus ; this young woman, as if oy enchant- 
ment, bore in her right hand a horseman, whose horse she 

* The learned Harris, in his historical Essay upon the literature and 
arts of the middle ages, thinks that the monument which represented the 
wolf suckling Romulus, was the same as that to which Virgil makes 
allusion when describing the buckler of ^neas : — 

lUam tereti cervice reflezam 
Mulcere altemos, et corpora fingerb lingua. 

JBwsid, b. im. 


held by one foot ; the horseman corered with his coirass, and 
the spirited, neighing steed, seemed listening to the warlike 
trumpet, and to breathe nothing but eagerness for the fight. 
Near the eastern boundary of the Circus were represented in 
bronze, the charioteers who had gained prizes, and whose 
triumphs, in times gone by, had often divided the empire 
into two factions ; they appeared standing in their chariots, 
running in the lists, pulling and loosening by turns the reins 
of their coursers, and encouraging them by gesture and voice. 
Not far from this, upon a basis of stone, were several 
Egyptian animals, the aspic, the basilisk, and the crocodile, 
all engaged in mortal combat, — an image of the war made by 
the wicked on each other; the hideous forms of these 
animals, the rage and pain expressed throughout their bodies, 
the livid poison which seemed to exhale with their bites, 
altogether inspired a feeling of disgust and terror. Another 
masterpiece, made to chann the sight, ought, at least, to 
have touched and disarmed the conquerors. Among the 
statues described by Nicetas, none is more conspicuous than 
a Helen with her charming smile and her voluptuous atti- 
tude ; a Helen, with perfect regularity of features, her hair 
floating at tlie pleasure of the winds, her eyes full of languor, 
her lips, which even in the bronze were rosy ; her arms, of 
which even the same bronze showed the whiteness ; Helen, 
in short, with all her beauty, and such as she appeared before 
the old men of Ilium, who were ravished at her presence. 

Constantinople contained many other splendid objects 
of art, which preceding ages had admired ; almost all such 
as were of bronze were condemned to perish, the Crusaders 
seeing in these monuments nothing but the metal of which 
they were composed. " That which antiquity had judged," 
says Nicetas, " of inestimable value, became, all at once, a 
common matter ; and that which had cost immense sums, 
was changed by the Latins into pieces of coin of very little 
value !'* The statues of marble held out less temptation for 
the cupidity of the conquerors, and received no other injuries 
than such as were inseparable from the tumult and disorders 
of war. 

The Greeks, who appeared so proud of their knowledge, 
themselves nep;lected the fine arts. The sciences of Greece, 
the profiane wisdom of the Academy and the Lyceum, had 


giyen place among them to the debates of Bcholastic theology; 
they passed by the Hippodrome with indifiference, and held 
nothing in reverence but relics and images of saints. These 
religious treasures, preserved Tnth care in the churches and 
palaces of Byzantium, had, during several ages, attracted the 
attention of the Christian world ; in the days that followed 
the conquest, they tempted the pious cupidity of the Cru- 
saders. Whilst the greater part of the warriors bore away 
the gold, the jewels, the carpeU, and the rich stuffs of the 
East, the more devout of the pilgrims, particxdarly the 
ecclesiastics, coUected a boo^ much more innocent and 
appropriate to the soldiers of Christ. Many braved the 
prohibitions of their leaders and their superiors, and did not 
disdain to employ by turns supplications and menaces, 
stratagem or violence, to procure relics that were the objects 
of their respect and veneration. Contemporary history 
relates several examples of this, which serve to make us 
acquainted with the spirit of the pilgrim conquerors of 
Byzantium. Martin Litz, abbot of Paris, in the diocese of 
BMe, entered into a church that had been given up to pillage, 
and penetrated, without being observed, into a retired place, 
where numerous relics were deposited, under the guardian- 
ship of a Greek monk.* This Greek monk was~then at 
prayers, with his hands raised supplicatingly towards 
heaven. His old age, his white hairs, his fervent piety, and 
the grief impressed upon his brow, were calculated to inspire 
both respect and pitv ; but Martin, approaching the vene- 
rable guardian oi tfie treasures li^ith an angry manner, 
exclaimed in a threatening tone, " Miserable old man, if thou 
dost not instantly conduct me to the place where thy relics 
are hidden, prepare to die on the spot ! " The monk, terrified 
by this menace, immediately and tremblingly arose, and 
pointed to a large iron coiFer, into which the pious abbot 
eagerly plunged both his hands, and seized everything 

* Cum ergo yictores Tictam, quam jure belli tuam fecerant, alacriter 
spoliarent, ccepit Martinu:) abbas de sua etiam pned& cogitare, et ne ipse 
vacuus remaneret, proposuit et ipse sacratas manus suas ad rapiuam 
extendere. — Gunther, 

The same Gunther relates how Martin committed violence upon a 
Greek priest to obtain relics from him. When speaking of Martin Lits, 
Gunther employs these singular ezpressions— j9r<e<2o tanciua. 


precious that he could grasp. Delighted with this conquesty 
he ran to conceal his treasures on board a vessel, ana con- 
trived, by. a holy fraud, to keep them for several days from 
the knowledge of the leaders and prelates of the army, who 
had strictly ordered the pilgrims to bring to an appointed 
place all the relics that feU into their han£. 

Martin Litz, at first, returned to the Christians of Pales- 
tine, who had sent him to Constantinople ; and, a short time 
after, came back to Europe, loaded with spoils obtained from 
the clergy of Byzantium. Among the relics he exhibited on 
his return, were, a piece of the true cross, the bones of 
St. John the Baptist, and an arm of St. James. The mira- 
culous translation of this treasure is celebrated with much 
pomp by the monk Gunther, in whom it created more 
• surprise and joy than the conquest of a great empire. If we 
may credit the account of the German monk, angels- de- 
scended from heaven to watch over the relics of Martin 
Litz. On the route of the holy abbot, the tempests of the 
ocean were silent, pirates were struck motionless, and 
robbers, those pests of travellers, stopped short, seized with 
respect and fear. At length Martin Litz was received in 
triumph at Bale, and the treasures he had preserved through 
so many perils, were distributed among the principal 
churches ot the diocese. 

Another priest, named Galon de Dampierre, of the diocese 
of Langres, less adroit or less fortunate than Martin Litz, 
had not been able to obtain any share of the spoils of the 
churches ; he went and threw himself at the leet of the 
pope's legate, and implored him, with tears in his eyes, to 
permit him to carry back to his country the head of St. Mames. 
A third ecclesiastic of Picardy, having found the head of 
St. George, and the head of St. John the Baptist, concealed 
among the ruins, hastened to quit Constantinople, and, laden 
with such a rich prize, presented to the cathedral of Amiens, 
his country, the inestimable relics of which Providence had 
made him the possessor. 

The princes and barons did not despise these holy spoils. 
Dandolo, receiving as his share* a piece of the true cross, 

* We have spoken in the early part of the work of the trne cross which 
the kings of Jerusalem caased to be borne before them in battle, and 
which was taken by Saladin at the battle of Tiberias ; Saladin refused to 


which the emperor Constantine was accustomed to have 
borne before him to battle, made a present of it to the 
republic of Venice. Baldwin kept for himself the crown of 
thorns of Christ, and several other relics found in the palace 
of Bucoleon. He sent Philip Augustus, king of France, a 
portion of the true cross, a foot in length ; some of the hair 
of Jesus Christ, when an infant ; and the linen in which the 
Man- God was enveloped in the stable in which he was 

The Greek priests and monks, thus plundered by the con- 
querors, parted with tears from the remains of the saints 
tnat had been confided to their keeping, and which every 
day cured the sick, made the lame to walk, restored sight to 
the blind, and strength to the paralytic. These holy spoils, 
that the devotion of the faithful had gathered together from 
all the countries of the East, went to illustrate the churches 
of France and Italy, and were received by the Christiana of 
the West as the most glorious trophies of the victories 
God had enabled the Crusaders to obtain. 

Constantinople fell into the power of the Latins on the 
10th of April, towards the end of Lent. The marshal of 
Champagne, after relating some of the scenes we have 
described, says with great simplicity, "Thus passed the 
splendid festivities of Easter." The clergy called the Cru- 
saders to penitence ; the voice of religion made itself heard 
in hearts hardened by victory; the soldiers crowded to the 
churches they had devastated, and celebrated the sufferings 
and death of Christ upon the wrecks of his own altars. 

This solemn epoch without doubt inspired some generous 
sentiments ; all the Latins were not deaf to the language of 
the charity of the Gospel. We feel bound here to admit 
that the greater part of the knights and ecclesiastics pro- 
tected the liberty and lives of. the citizens, and the honour 
of matrons and virgins ; but such was the spirit that then 

deliTer it up to Richard, as many of the Crusaders must have known. 
How then could the true cross be found at Constantinople ? The Greeks, 
howcTer, were not very nice with respect to the authenticity of their 
relics, and the Christians of the West on this point yielded very easy 
Ikith to thezn. [I cannot bat think our author a little out in hifi criticism 
here : they were but fragments or portions of the cross, at Constantinople ; 
the Saracens still held the main body of the true cross— t/'/riw U teas, — 


possessed the warriors, that all the Crusadew allowed them- 
selves to be overcome by the thirst for bootv; and the 
leaders, equally with the soldiers, exercised, without hesita- 
tion or scruple, the right which their victory had given 
them of plundering the conquered. It was agreed that 
all the spoils should be deposited in three churches, 
selected for the purpose ; and the leaders commanded the 
Crusaders to bring, in common, the whole of the booty, and 
threatened with death and excommunication all who should 
abstract anything from the prize of the valour, and the 
recompense due to the labours of the whole army. Many 
soldiers, and even some knights, allowed themselVes to be 
led away by avarice, and retained valuable objects that fell 
into their hands. " "Which," says the marshal of Cham- 
pagne, " made the Lord to begin to love them less." The 
justice of the counts and barons was inflexible towards the 
guilty ; the count of St. Pol ordered one of his knights, who 
had withheld something from the common stock of booty, to 
be himg, with his escutcheon suspended from his neck.* 
Thus the G-reeks, plundered by violence, might be present 
at the punishment of some of the ravishers of their pro- 
perty, and might contemplate with surprise the regulations 
of sterli equity mingled with the disorders of victory and 
pillage. After the festival of Easter, the Crusaders shared 
the captured riches ; the fourth part of the spoil was set 
aside for him who should be chosen emperor, and the rest 
was divided among the French and the Venetians. The 
French Crusaders, who had conquered Zara, to the sole 
advantage of the Venetians, were not the less called upon 
to pay the fifty thousand silver marks they owed to tho 
republic; the amount was deducted beforehand from the 
portion of the booty that belonged to them. In the division 
that was made among the warriors of Lombardy, Grermany, 
and France, each knight had a part equal to that of two 
horsemen, and every horseman one equal to that of two 
foot-soldiers. All the plunder of the Greeks only yielded t 

* Villehardonin, when speaking of the rigorous jastioe exercised upon 
all who endeavoured to conceal any part of the plunder, says : Et en y eut 
tout plein de pendus. 

t Que edition of Villehardouin makes the plunder pf Constantinople 
amount to five hundred thousand silver marks, equivalent to twenty-four 


four hundred thousand silver marks ; but although this sum 
far exceeded the revenues of all the kingdoms of the West, 
it did not by any means represent the value of the riches 
accumulated in Byzantium. If the princes and barons, upon 
making themselves masters of the city, had been satisfied with 
imposing a tribute upon the inhabitants, they might have 
received a much larger sum; but this pacific manner of 
obtaining wealth agreed neither with their character nor the 
humour they were in. History asserts that the Venetians, 
in this circumstance, offered them some very prudent advice, 
and made propositions that were rejected with scorn. The 
Prank warriors could not condescend to submit the advan- 

X>f victory to commercial calculations ; the produce of 
was always, in their eyes, the most worthy firuit of 
conquest, and the most noble reward of valour. 

When they had thus shared the rich plunder of the 
Eastern empire, the Crusaders gave way to the most extra- 
vagant jov, without perceiving that they had committed a 
CTeat fault in exhausting a country which was about to 
become their own ; they (ud not reflect that the ruin of the 
conquered might one day bring on that of the conquerors, 
and that they might become as poor as the Ghreeks they had 
just despoiled. W ithout regrets, as without foresight, hoping 
everything from their own good swords, they set about elect- 
ing a leader who should reign over a people in mourning and 
a desolated city. The imperial purple had still the same 
splendour in their e;^es, and the throne, though shaken by 
tneir arms, was still the object of their ambition. Six 
electors were chosen from among the Venetian nobles, and 
six others from among the French ecclesiastics, to give a 

millions ; if we add to this sum the fifty thousand marks due to the Yene- 
tians, and deducted before the diyiaion, and the part which they had in the 
division itself, we shall find the total amount of booty fifty nyllions four 
hundred thousand francs (about ;^ ^00,000. — Tbans.). As much, says 
the modem historian who supplies us with this note, perhaps, was appro- 
priated secretly by individuals. The three fires which had consumed more 
than half the city had destroyed at least as much of its riches, and in the 
profusion that followed the pillage, the most precious effects had lost so 
much of their value, that the advantage of the Latins probably was not 
equivalent to a quarter of what they had cost the Greeks. Thus we may 
suppose that Constantinople, before the attack, contained 600,000,000 of 
wealth (£25,000,000). (What would the plunder of London amount to 
la 1852 ?— Taans.) 


nuister to Constantinople ; the twelve electors assembled in 
the palace of Bucoleon, and swore, upon the Gbspel, to 
crown only merit and virtue. 

Three of the principal leaders of the crusade had equal 
claims to the suffrages of thg electors. If the purple was to 
be the reward of experience, of ability in council, and of 
services rendered to the cause of the Latins, Henrj Dandolo, 
who had been the moving spirit, the very soul of the enter- 
prise, certainly had the first claim to it. The marquis of 
Montferrat, bke^Hise, had titles worthy of great considera- 
tion ; the Latins had chosen him for their leader, and the 
Greeks already acknowledged him as their master. His 
bravery, proved in a thousand fights, promised a firm and 
generous support to a throne that must rise from amidst 
ruins. His prudence and moderation might give the Latins 
and the people of Greece reason to hope that, when once 
raised to empire, he would repair the evils of war. The 
claims of Baldwin to the imperial crown were not less 
cogent than those of his concurrents. The count of Flan- 
ders was related to the most powerful monarchs of the West, 
and was descended, in the female line, from Charlemagne. 
He was much beloyed by his soldiers, whose dangers he was 
always ready to share; he had deservedly obtained the 
esteem of the Greeks, who, even amidst the disorders of 
conquest, celebrated him as the champion of chastity and 
honour. Baldwin was the protector of the weak, the friend 
of the poor ; he loved justice, and had no dread of truth. 
His youth, which he had already illustrated by brilliant cx- 

Eloits and solid virtues, gave the subjects of the new empire 
opes of a long and happy reign ; the rank he held among 
the warriors, his niety, his intelligence, his love of studv and 
learned men, renaered him worthy of ascending the throne 
of Augustus and Constantine. 

The electors at first turned their attention towards the 
venerable Dandolo ; but the republicans of Venice trembled 
at the idea of seeing an emperor among their fellow-citizens : 
" What shall we not have to dread," said they, " from a 
Venetian, become master of Greece, and of part of the 
East P Shall we be subject to his laws, or will he remain 
subject to the laws of our country ? Under his reign, and 
unaer that of his successors, who will assure ub that Venice, 


the Queen of the Seas, will not become oneof the cities of this 
empire ?" The Venetians, whilst speaking thus, bestowed 
just eulogiums upon the virtue and character of Dandolo ; 
thej added, that their doge, who was approaching the end 
of a life filled with great actions, had nothing lefi him but 
to finish his days with gloiy, and that he himself would find 
it more glorious to be the nead of a victorious republic, than 
the sovereign of a conquered nation. " What Eoman," 
cried they, " would have been willing to lay down the title 
of citizen of Borne, to become king of Carthage ?" 

On terminating their speeches, the Venetians conjured 
the assembly to elect an emperor from among the other 
leaders of the army. After this, the choice of the electors 
could only be directed towards the count of Flanders and 
the marquis of Montferrat ; the most wise dreading that 
the one of the two concurrents who should not obtam the 
empire, would be sure to give vent to his dissatisfaction, 
and would desire the fall of the throne occupied by his 
rival. They still remembered the violent debates which, in 
the first crusade, had followed the election of Godfrey of 
Bouillon ; and the troubles excited in the young kingdom of 
Jerusalem, by the jealous ambition of Raymond de St, 
Gilles. To prevent the eff*ects of such a fatal discord, it was 
judged best to decree, at once, that the prince that should 
gain the sufirages for the imperial throne, should yield to 
the other, under the condition of fealty and homage, the 
property of the island of Candia, and all the lands of the 
empire situated on the other side of the Bosphorus. After 
this decision, the assembly turned their whole attention to 
the election of an emperor. Their choice was for a long 
time uncertain. The marquis of Montferrat at first appeared 
to have the majority of the suffrages ; but the Venetians 
were fearful of seeing upon the throner of Constantinople a 
prince who had any possessions in the neighbourhood of 
their territories, and represented to the assembly that the 
election of Baldwin would be much more advantageous to 
the Crusaders, particularly as it would interest the warlike 
nations of the Flemings and French in the glory and support 
of the new empire. The interests and jealousies of policy, 
and, without doubt, also wisdom and equity, at length 
united all voices in favour of the count of Flanders, 


The Crusaders, assembled before the palace of Bucoleon, 
awaited with impatience the decision of the electors. At 
the hour of midnight, the bishop of Soissons came forward 
under the vestibule, and pronounced, in a loud voice, these 
words : " This hour of the night, which witnessed the birth 
of a Saviour of the world, gives birth to a new empire, 
under the protection of the Omnipotent. Tou have for 
emperor, Baldwin, count of Flanders and Hainault." Loud 
cries of joy arose from among the Venetians and the 
French. The people of Constantinople, who had so often 
changed masters, received, without repugnance, the new one 
just given to them, and mingled their acclamations with 
those of the Latins. Baldwin was elevated upon a buckler, 
and borne in triumph to the church of St. Sophia. The 
marquis of Montferrat followed in the train of his rival ; the 
generous submission, of which he presented an example, was 
much admired by his companions in arms, and his presence 
drew scarcely less attention than the warlike pomp that 
surrounded the new emperor. 

The ceremony of the coronation was postponed till the 
/ourth Sunday after Easter. Li the mean time the marriage 
of the marquis of Montferrat with Margaret of Hungary, 
the widow of Isaac, was celebrated with much splendour. 
Constantinople beheld within its walls the festivities and 
spectacles of the West, and, for the first time, the Greeks 
heard in their churches the prayers and hymns of the 
Latins. On the day appointed for the coronation of the 
emperor, Baldwin repaired to St. Sophia, accompanied by 
the barons and the clergy. "Whilst divine service was beins 
performed, the emperor ascended a throne of gold, and 
received the purple from the hands of the pope's legate, 
who performed the functions of patriarch. Two knights 
carried before him the laticlavici tunica of the Eoman con- 
suls, and the imperial sword, once again in the hands of 
warriors and heroes. The head of the clergy, standing 
before the altar, pronounced, in the Oreek language, these 
words : "JHi? w worthy of reigning ;'^ and all persons present 
repeated in chorus, "Ac w worthy! he is worthy!^* The 
Crusaders shouting their boisterous acclamations, the knights 
clad in armour, the crowd of miserable Greeks, the sanctuary 
despoiled of its ancient ornaments, and decked with foreign 


pomp, presented altogether a spectacle solemn and melan- 
choly — ail the evils of war amidst the trophies of victory. 
Surrounded by the ruins of an empire, reflective spectators 
could not fail to remark among the ceremonies of this day, 
that in which, according to the custom of the G-reeks, were 
presented to Baldwin a little vase filled with dust and 
bones, and a lock of lighted flax,* as symbols of the short- 
ness of life and the .nothingness of human grandeur. 

Before the ceremony of his coronation, the new emperor 
distributed the principal dirties of the empire among his 
companions in arms. Yillehardouin, marshal of Champagne, 
obtamed the title of marshal of Eomania ; the count de 
St. Pol, the dignity of constable ; the charges of master of 
the wardrobe, great cupbearer and butler, were given to 
Canon de Bethune,Macaire de St. M6n6hoult, and Miles de 
Brabant. The doge of Venice, created despot or prince of 
Bomania, had the right of wearing purple buskins, a privi- 
lege, among the Greeks, reserved for niembers of the unpe- 
riS family. Henry Dandolo represented the republic of 
Venice at Constantinople ; half the city was under his 
dominion and recognisea his laws ; he ndsed himself, by the* 
dignity of his character as well as by his exploits, above all 
the princes and all the nobles of the court of Baldwin ; he 
alone was exempt from paying fealty and homage to tho 
emperor for the lands he was to possess. 

The barons began t6 be impatient to share the cities and 
provinces of the empire. In a council composed of twelve 
of the patricians of Venice and twelve French knights, all 
the conquered lands were divided between the two nations. 
Bithynia, Eomania or Thrace, Thessalonica, all Greece from 
Thermopylae to Cape Sunium, with the larger isles of the 
Archipelago, fell to the share and under the dominion of the 
rrench. The Venetians obtained the Cyclades and the Spo- 
rades, in the Archipelago ; the isles and the oriental coast of 
the Adriatic Gulf; the coasts of the Propontis and the Euxine 
Sea; thebanks of theHebrus and the Vardas; the citiesof Cyp- 
sedes, Didymatica, and Adrianople ; the maritime countries of 
Thessalonica, &c. &c. Such was at first the distribution of the 

* The ceremony of the lighted flax itill takes place at the exaltation of 
the popes; thete words are addraned to them : Sie irmHi ghria mmnJtt. 


territories of the empire. But circumstances that could not 
be foreseen, the diversity of interests, the rivahries of ambi- 
tion, all the chances of fortune and of war, soon produced 
grea«t changes in this division of dominions. History would 
in vain endeavour to follow the conquerors into the provinces 
allotted to them ; it would be more easy to mark tlie banks 
of an overflowing torrent, or to trace the path of the storm, 
than to fix the state of the uncertain and transitory posses- 
sions of the conquerors of Byzantium. 

The lands situated beyond the Bosphorus were erected 
into a kingdom, and, with the island of Candia, given to the 
manjuis of Montferrat. Boniface exchanged them for the 
province of Thessalonica, and sold the island of Candia to 
the republic of Venice for thirty pounds weight of gold. 
The provinces of Asia were abandoned to the count of Blois, 
who assumed the title of duke of Nice and Bithynia. In 
the distribution of the cities and lands of the' empire, every 
one of the lords and barons had obtained domidns propor- 
tioiuite with the rank and services of the new possessor. 
When they heard speak of so many countries of which they 
•scarcely knew the names, the warriors of the West were 
astonisned at their conquests, and believed that the greater 
part of the universe was promised to their ambition. In the 
intoxication of their joy, they declared themselves masters 
of all the provinces that had formed the empire of Constan- 
tine. They cast lots for the countries of the Medes and 
Parthians,4ind the kingdoms that were under the domina- 
tion of the Turks and Saracens ;* several barons expressed 
a great desire to reis:n at Alexandria ; others disputed for 
the palace of the sultans of Iconium ; some knights ex- 
changed that which had been assigned to them for new 
possessions, whilst others complained of their share, and 
demanded an augmentation of territory. With the money 

* Nicetas relates all the circumstances of the sharing of the lands of the 
empire. We find in Muratori the treatj for the division which was made 
before the siege ; we do not offer it to our readers, because it is unintel- 
ligible in several places, and cannot shed any light over geography. The 
names of the cities and provinces of the empire are given in a very 
unfaithful and imperfect manner. The Venetians withdut.doubt famished 
tlie necessary information for the drawing up of the treaty, but this in- 
formation was very incomplete. 


which arose fix>m the plunder of the capital, the conquerors 
purchased the provinces of the empire; they sold, thej 
played at dice, for whole cities and their inhabitants. Con- 
stantinople was dunug several days a market, in which seas 
and their islands, nations and their wealth, were trafficked 
foj* ; in which the Eoman world was put up to sale, and 
found purchasers among the obscure crowd of the Crusaders. 

Whust the barons were thus distributing cities and 
kingdoms, the ambition of the Latin clergy was by no 
means idle, but was busy in invading the property of the 
Greek Church. All the churches of Constantinople were 
divided between the French and the Venetians ; they named 
priests of the two nations, to minister in the temples torn 
from the conquered ; and no other religious ceremonies were 
celebrated within the walls of the city but those of the West. 
The leaders of the crusade had agreed among themselves, 
that if the emperor of Constantinople should be chosen 
from the French, the patriarch should be a Venetian. Ac- 
cording to this convention, which had preceded the conquest, 
Thomas Morosini* was elevated to the chair of St. Sophia ; 
priests and Latin bishc^ were, at the same time, sent into 
the other conquered cities, and took possession of the wealth 
and the privileges of the Greek clergy. Thus the Bomish 
worship associated itself with the victories of the Crusaders, 
and made its empire acknowledged wherever the banners of 
the conquerors floated. 

Nothing now opposed the arms of the Cru«aders ; all 
trembled before them ; fame wafted everywhere the accounts 
of their exploits and their power ; but, on casting a glance 
into the future the leaders had great reason to fear that the 
retreat or death of their warriors woidd leave the empire 
they had founded destitute of defenders. The population, 
weakened and 'dispersed, were not sufficient for either the 
cultivation of .the lands or the work of the cities. In this 
conjuncture, the counts and barons, who always expected 
with fear the judgments of the head of the Church, re- 

* The pope would not at first recognise this election, which appeared 
to him a usurpation of the rights of the Holy See ; but as Morosini was an 
ecclesiastic of great merit, Innocent was not willing to choose another. 
Morosini waa sent to ConstantiooplA not aa if elected by the Cnuaden, 
but as if appointed by the pope. 


doubled their submission to the soyereign pontiff, and sought 
his support, in the hope that the Holy See would bring the 
"West to pronounce in their favour, and that at the voice of 
the father of the faithful, a great number of French, Italians, 
and Ghermans would come to people and defend the new 

After his coronation, Baldwin wrote to the pope, to an- 
nounce to him the extraordinary victories bj which it had 
? leased God to crown the zeal of the soldiers of the cross, 
'he new emperor, who assumed the title of knight of the 
Holy See, recalled to the mind of the sovereign pontiff the 
perfidies and the long revolt of the Greeks. " "We have 
Drought under your Laws," said he, "that city, which, in 
hatred for the Holy See, would scarcely hear the name of 
the prince of the apostles, and did not afford a single 
church to him who received from the Lord the supremacy 
over all churches.'* Baldwin, in his letter, invited the vicar 
of Jesus Christ to imitate the example of his predecessors, 
John, Agapetus, and Leo, who visited in person the Church 
of Byzantium. To complete the justification of the pil- 
grims who had made themselves masters of the Greek em- 
pire, the emperor invoked the testimony of all the Christians 
of the East. " When we entered into this capital," added 
he, " many inhabitants of the Holy Land, who were there, 
expressed greater joy than any others, and asserted aloud 
that we had rendered God a more agreeable service than if 
we had retaken Jerusalem." 

The marquis of Montferrat at the same time addressed 
a letter to the sovereiffn pontiff, in which he protested his 
humble obedience to all the decisions of the Holy See. "As 
for me," said the king of Thessalonica, " who only took up 
the cross for the expiation of my sins, and not to obtain an 
opportunity of sinning with more license under the pretext 
of religion, I submit myself blindly to your will. If you 
judge that my presence in Bomauia may be useful, I will die 
there, contending against your enemies and those of Christ : 
if you think, on the contrary, I ought to abandon these rich 
countries, pay no regard to the wealth or dignities I possess 
there, I am ready to return to the West ; for I am not will- 
ing to do anything that will draw upon me the anger of the 
sovereign judge." 


The doge of Venice, who till that time had brayed with 
BO much haughtiness the threats and thunders of the Church, 
acknowledged the sovereign authority of the pope, and 
joined his protestations with those of Baldwin and Boni&ce. 
To disarm the anger of Innocent, they represented to him 
that the conquest of Constantinople had prepared the deli* 
verance of Jerusalem, and boasted of the wealth of a coun- 
try which the Crusaders had at length brought under the 
laws of the Holy See. In all their letters to the pope or 
the faithful of the West, the conquerors of Byzantium 
spoke of the Greek empire as of a new land of promise, 
which awaited the servants of Gk>d and the soldiers of Christ. 

Innocent had been for a long time irritated by the dis- 
obedience of the Cruqaders; in his reply, he reproached 
with bitterness the victorious army of the Latins for having 
preferred the riches of the earth to those of heaven ;• he 
reprimanded the leaders for having exposed to the outrages 
of the soldiers and followers of the army, the honour of ma- 
trons and maidens, and virgins consecrated to the Lord ; for 
having ruined Constantinople, plundered both great and 
Mially violated the sanctuary, and put forth a sacrilegious 
hand upon the treasures oi the churches. Nevertheless, 
the father of the faithful would not take upon him to fathom 
the judgments of God ; he was satisfied to believe that the 
Greeks had been justly punished for their faults, and that 
the Crusaders were recompensed as the instruments of Pro- 
vidence, as the avengers of divine justice. " Dread," said 
he, " the anger of the Lord ; hope with fear that he will 
pardon the past, if you govern the nations with equity ; if 
you are faithful to the Holy See, and, above everything, if 
you entertain a firm resolution to accomplish your vow for 
the deliverance of the Holy Land." 

* Innocent, when speaking of the sack of Constantinople, expresses 
himself thus in bis letter : — Qaidam nee religioni, nee Ktati, nee sexui 
pepercerunt ; sed fomicationes, adulteria, et incestns in ocalis omnium 
exercenteSf^non solum meretricnlas et yiduas, sed et matronas et virgines 
Deoqne dicatas exposuerunt spurcitiis garcionom. The pope is more 
severe towards the Crusaders than Nicetas himself ; the indignation that 
the disobedience of the Crusaders had created, led him to exaggerate their 
ftiults. The word ineettut, applied to warriors who had no family relations 
with the Greeks, alone serves to prove that there is more bitterness than 
truth in the letter of Innooent. 


JN'otwithfltanding this outward show of anger, the sove- 
reign pontiff was gratified to the depths of his heart bj the 
prayers and submission of the heroes and princes whose ex- 
ploits made the Eastern world tremble. Cardinal Peter of 
Capua had given absolution to the Venetians excommuni- 
cated after the siege of Zara. Innocent at first blamed the 
indulgence of his legate, but finished hy confirming the par- 
don granted to Dandolo and his compatriots. The pope 
approved the election of Baldwin, who took the title of knight 
of the Holy See, and consented to recognise an empire to winch 
he was to give laws. The more submissive the Crusaders 
showed themselves to his authority, the more plainly it ap- 
peared to him that their conquests must concern the glory 
of Gtod and i;hat of the vicar of Christ upon earth. H!e 
wrote to the bishops of France, that God had been willing 
to console the Church by the conversion of heretics ; that 
Providence had humbled the Greeks, an impious, proud, and 
rebellious people ; and again placed the empire in the hands 
of the Latms, a pious, humble, and submissive nation. The 
sovereign pontiff* invited, in the name of the emperor Bald- 
win, the French of both sexes and all conditions, to repair 
to Greece to receive lauds and riches proportioned to tneir 
merit and their quality. He promised the indulgences of 
the crusade to all the faithful, who, sharing the glory of the 
Crusaders, should go to defend and promote the prosperity 
of the new empire of the East. 

The pope did not, however, lose sight of the Syrian expe- 
dition, and appeared persuaded that succours sent to Con- 
stantinople must contribute to the deliverance of the holy 
places. The king of Jerusalem implored more earnestly 
than ever, both by letters and ambassadors, the efiective' 
protection of the Holy See, as well as that of the princes of 
the East. 

The new emperor of Bjrzantium did not renounce the 
hope of assisting the Christian colonies of Syria; and to 
raise the courage of his brethren of the Holy Land, he sent 
to Ptolemais the chain of the port and the gates of Constan- 
tinople. When these trophies reached Palestine, scarcity, 
famine, and all the evils of an unfortunate war ravaged both 
cities and plains. At the news of approaching aid, the people 
of Ptolemais passed at once firom excessive grief and de- 


Bpondencj to all the transports of joj. Pame, whilst pub- 
hshuag the miraculous conquests of the companions of 
Baldwin and Boniface, carried the hope of safety into all the 
Christian cities of Syria, and spread terror among the Mus- 
sulmans. The sultan of Damascus had recently concluded 
a truce with the Christians, and trembled lest it should be 
broken, when, all at once, he owed liis safety to the very 
event that had caused his alarms. 

The greater part of the defenders of the Holy Land, who 
had experienced nothing but the evils of war, became de- 
sirous of partaking of the glory and the good fortune of the 
French and Venetians. They even who had quitted the 
victorious army at Zara, who had so severely blamed the 
expedition to Constantinople, believed that the will of God 
called them to the shores of the Bosphorus, and they aban- 
doned the Holy Land. The legate of the pope, Peter of 
Capua, was drawn away by the example of the other Cru- 
saders, and went to animate with his presence the zeal of 
the Latin clergy, who were labouring for the conversion of 
the Greeks ; the knights of St. Jolm and the Temple also 
directed their course towards Greece, where glory and rich 
domains were the reward of valour ; and the king of Jeru- 
salem was lefl almost alone at Ptolemais, without means of 
making the truce he had entered into with the infidels 

Baldwin warmly welcomed the defenders of the Holy 
Land ; but the joy he experienced at their arrival was much 
troubled by the intelligence of the death of his wife, Mar- 
guerite of Flanders. This princess had embarked in the 
fleet of John de Nesle, in the belief that she should meet 
her husband in Palestine ; sinking under the fatigue of a 
long voyage, and perhaps the pains of disappointment, she 
'fell sick at Ptolemais, and diea at the moment she learnt 
that Baldwin had been crowned emperor of Constantinople. 
The vessel destined to convey the new empress to the shores 
of the Bosphorus only brought back her mortal remains. 
Baldwin, amidst bi^ knights, wept for the loss of a princess 
he had loved tenderly, and who, by her virtues and the 
graces of her youth, he had hoped would be the ornament 
and example of the court of Byzantium. He caused her to be 
buried with great pomp in the same church in which, but a few 


days before, he had received the imperial crown. Thus the 
people of Constantinople witnessed, almost at the same time, 
the coronation of an emperor and the funeral of an empress ; 
— days of joy and triimiph mingled with days of mourning. 
This contrast of the pageantry of death and the pomps of 
victory and of a throne, appeared to offer a fjEuthnil image 
of the glory of conquerors, and the future destiny of the 

The emperor and his barons, with all the succours they 
had received from the East, had scarcely twenty thousand 
men to defend their conquests and restrain the people of the 
capital and the provinces. The sultan of Icomum and the 
king of the Bulgarians had long threatened to invade the 
lands contiguous to their states, and they thought that the 
dissensions and subsequent fall of the Greek empire pre- 
sented a favourable opportunity for the outbreak of their 
jealousy and ambition. The nations of Greece were con- 
quered without being subdued. As in the disorder which 
accompanied the conquest of Byzantium, no other right had 
been acknowledged but that of force and the sword, all the 
Greeks, who had still arms in their hands, were desirous of 
forming a principality or a kingdom. On all sides new 
states and empires sprang up from the bosom of the ruins, 
and already toreatened that which the Crusaders had so 
recently established. 

A ^andson of Andronicus founded in a Greek province 
of Asia Minor the principality of Trebizonde ; Leo Sgurre, 
master of the little city of Napoli, had extended his do- 
minions by injustice and violence, and, to employ a com- 
parison oftered by Nicetas, he had grown greater, like the 
torrent that swells in the storm and is enlarged by the 
waters of the tempest. A barbarous conqueror, a fierce and 
cruel tyrant, he reigned, or rather he spread terror, over 
Argos and the isthmus of Corinth. Michael- Angel us Com- 
nenus, employing the arms of treachery, gained the kingdom 
of Epirus, and subdued to his laws a wild and warlike people. 
Theodore Lascaris, who, like ^neas, had fled from his 
burning country, collected some troops in Bithynia, and 
caused himself to be proclaimed emperor at Nice, whence 
his family was destined at a future day to return in triumph 
to Constantinople. 


If despair liad imparted any degree of courage to the two 
fugitive emperors, thej might have obtained a share of their 
own spoils, and preserved a remnant of power ; but they had 
not profited by the lessons of misfortime. Mourzoufle, who 
had completed all the crimes begun by Alexius, did not 
hesitate to place himself in the power of his unfortunate 
riyal, whose daughter he had married : the wicked sometimes 
take upon themselves the duty of punishing one another. 
Alexius, after having loaded mourzoufle with caresses, in- 
veigled him into his house, and caused his eyes to be put 
out. In this condition, Mourzoufle, abandoned by his fol- 
lowers, for whom he was now nothing but an object of disgust, 
went to conceal his existence and his misery in Asia ; but on 
his road fell into the hands of the Latins. Being led to 
Constantinople, and condemned to expiate his crimes by an 
ignominious death, he was precipitated from the top of a 
column raised by the emperor Theodosius in the Fmce of 
Taurus. The multitude of Greeks that had offered the 
purple to Mourzoufle were present at his tragical end, and 
appeared terrified at a punishment that was much more new 
to them than the crimes for which it was inflicted. After 
the execution, the crowd contemplated with surprise a basso- 
relievo on the column of Theodosius,* which represented a 
king falling from a very elevated place, and a city stormed 
by sea. In these times of troubles and calamities, presages 
were discovered everywhere. Everything, even to marble 
and stone, appeared to have told of the misfortunes of Con- 
stantinople. Nicetas was astonished that such great mis- 
fortunes had not been announced by a shower of blood, or 
some sinister prodigies ; the most enlightened Greeks ex- 
plained the fall of the empire of Constantine by the verses 
of poets and sibyls, or by the prophecies of the Scriptures ; 
the common people read the death of tyrants and their own 
miseries in the looks of statues, and upon the colunms that 
remained standing in the capital. 

* Some modern writers have asserted that the colomn from which 
Monnoufle was precipitated is still to be seen at Constantinople ; but 
there existed two columns in that dty ; one of Theodosius and the other of 
ArcadioB. The first was destroyed bj fiajazet, and nothing remains of 
the other bat the pedestal, which is in the Avret Baras (the women- 
market). See the Voyage to ike PropofUU, by M. le Chovalier, who has 
deared iq> thia iSwt on the spot. 


The perfidy and cruelty of Alexius did not remain long 
unpunished ; the usurper was obliged to wander from city to 
city, and, not unfrequently, to conceal the imperial purple 
under the garb of a mendicant, i'or a considerable tune he 
only owed his safety to the contempt in which he was held 
by the conquerors. After having long strayed ^about in a 
state of destitution, he was given up to the marquis of 
Montferrat, who sent him a prisoner into Italy ; escaping 
thence, he again passed into Asia, and found an asylum with 
the sultan of Iconium. Alexius could not be satisfied to 
live in peace in his retreat, but joined the Turks in an attack 
upon his son-in-law Lascaris, whom ho could not pardon for 
having saved a wreck of the empire, and reigning over 
Bithynia. As the Turks were beaten, the fugitive prince 
fell at length into the hands of the emperor of Nice, who 
compeUed him to retire to a monastery, where he died, 
forgotten by both Greeks and Latins. . 

Thus four emperors were immolated to ambition and 
vengeance: — a deplorable spectacle, and most worthy of 
pity ! Amidst the convulsions and fall of an empire, we 
behold princes of the same £a.mily quarrelling for a phantom 
of authority, snatch from each other by turns both the 
sceptre and life, surpass the populace in fury, and leave 
them no crime, no parricide, to commit. 

If we could believe Nicetas, Alexius was a model of 
mildness and moderation ; he never made a woman put on 
mourning for her husband, he never caused a citizen to weep 
for the loss of his fortune. This eulogy of Nicetaa throws 
a far greater li^ht upon the nature of the government than 
upon the qualities of the monarch. If it be true that we 
ought to be thankful to despotism for every ill that it haa 
not committed, we must not forget that ^exius only ob- 
tained the throne by infamous means ; that he did not redeem 
his parricide by any public virtue ; and that the crime of his 
usurpation gave birth to a thousand other crimes, brought 
about a horrible revolution, ^nd caused the ruin of a nation. 
Kicetas treats Mourzoufle with much more severity ; but 
some modem historians, dazzled by a few actions of braveiy, 
have imdertaken to justify a prince who sacrificed everything 
to his ambition. They have not hesitated to point out to 
us in a cruel, unscrupulous tyrant, a model and a martyr of 


the patriotic virtues, as if love of country was the same 
thing as a boundless love of power, and could possibly ally 
itself with treachery and pamcide. 

Whilst the Greek princes were thus making war against 
each other, and quarrelling for the wrecks of the empire, 
the French counts and barons quitted the capital to go and 
take possession of the cities and provinces that had fallen to 
their share. Many of them were obliged to conquer, sword 
in hand, the lands that had been assigned to tnem. The 
marquis of Montferrat set out on his march to visit the 
kingdom of Thessalonica, and receive the homage of his new 
subjects. The emperor Baldwin, followed by his brother 
Henry of Hainault, and a great number of knights, made a 
progress through Thrace and Bomania, and everywhere on 
his passage, was saluted by the noisy acclamations of a people 
alwavs more skilful in flattering their conquerors than in 
comBating their enemies. When he arrived at Adrianople, 
where he was received in triumph, the new emperor an- 
nounced his intention of pursumg his march as far as 
Thessalonica. This unexpected resolution surprised the 
marquis of Montferrat, who entertained the desfre of going 
alone to his own kingdom. Boniface promised to be faithfm 
to the emperor, to be always ready to employ his forces 
against the enemies of the empire ; but he feared the pre- 
sence of Baldwin's army in his cities, already exhausted by 
war. A serious quarrel broke out between the two princes. 
The marquis of Montferrat accused the emperor of wishing 
to get possession of his states ; Baldwin fancied he coidd 

Serceive in the resistance of Boniface the secret desi^ of 
enying the sovereignty of the head of the empire. Both 
loved justice, and were not wanting in moderation ; but now 
one had become king of Thessalomca, and the other emperor 
of Constantinople, they had courtiers, who endeavoured to 
exasperate their quarrel and inflame their animosity. Some 
told Boniface that Baldwin was entirely in the wrong, and that 
he abused a power that ought to have been the reward of 
virtues very different from hia. Others reproached the 
emperor with being too generous to his enemies, and, in the 
excess of their flattery, said he was guilty of only one fault, 
and that was of having too long spared an unfaithful vassal. 
In spite of all the representations of the marquis of Mont- 


ferrat, Baldwin led his army into the kingdom of Theflsa- 
lonica. Boniface conaidered this obstinacy of the emperor 
as a flagrant outrage, and swore to take vengeance with his 
sword. Impelled by passion, he departed suddenly with 
several knights who had declared in his favour, and got 
possession of Didymatica, a city belonging to the emperor. 

The marquis of Montferrat took with him his wife, IVfary of 
Hungary, the widow of Isaac ; and the presence of this prin- 
cess, with the hopes of keeping up the division among the 
Latins, drew manv Greeks to the banner of Boniface. He 
declared to them that he fought for their cause, and clothed in 
the imperial purple a young prince, the son of Isaac and Mary 
of Hungary. Dragging in his train this phantom of an 
emperor, around whom the principal inhabitants from all 
parts of Bomania rallied, heresumeathe road to Adiianople, 
and made preparations for besieging that city. Boniface, 
daily becommg more irritated, would listen to neither the 
counsels nor the prayers of his companions in arms ; and 
discord was about to cause the blood of the Latins to flow, if 
the doge of Venice, the count of Blois, and the barons that 
remained ^ Constantinople, had not earnestly employed 
their authority and credit to prevent the miafortimes with 
which the new empire was threatened. Deeply aflSiicted by 
what they learnt, they sent deputies to the emperor and the 
marquis of Montferrat. The marshal of Champagne, the 
envoy to Boniface, reproached him, in plain terms, with 
having forgotten the glory and honour of the Crusaders, of 
whom he had been the leader ; with compromising, to gratify 
a vain pride, the cause of Christ and the safety of the empire, 
and preparing days of triumph and joy for the Greeks, the 
Bulgarians, and the Saracens. The marquis of Montferrat 
was touched by the reproaches of Villehardouin, who was 
his friend, and who spoke in the name of all the Crusaders. 
He promised to put an end to the war, and to submit his 
quarrel with Baldwin to the judgment of the counts and 

In the meanwhile Baldwin had taken possession of Thessa- 
lonica. As soon as he heard of the hostilities of the marquis 
of Montferrat, he hastily marched back to Adrianople. He 
was brooding over projects of vengeance, and threatening to 
repel force by force, and oppose war to war, when he met the 


deputies, who came in the name of the leaders of the 
crusade, to speak to him of peace^ and recoil to his heart the 
sentiments of justice and humanity. A knight of the train 
of the count of Blois addressed a speech to the emperor, 
that Yillehardouin has preserved, in which our readers will 
be pleased, without doubt, to meet with a picture of the 
noble frankness of the conquerors of Byzantium. " Sire," 
said he, " the doge of Venice, the Count Louis of Blois, my 
very honoured lord, and all the barons who are at Constan- 
tinople, salute you as their sovereign, and make complaint 
to God and you against those who, by their evil counsels, 
have created fatal discords. You did, certes, very wrong to 
lend an ear to these perfidious counsellors, for they are ovu 
enemies and yours. Ton know that the Marquis Boniface 
has submitted his quarrel to the judgment of the barons ; the 
lords and princes hope that you will do as he has done, and 
that you will not hold out against justice. They have 
sworn, and we are charged to declare so in their name, not 
to suffer any longer the scandal of a war kindled between 

Baldwin did not at first answer this speech, and appeared 
BOirprised at such language ; but they spoke to him thus in 
the name of the doge of Venice, whose old age he respected, 
and whom he loved tenderly ; in the name of the counts and 
barons, without whose help he could not hope to preserve 
his empire, and, at length, ne listened to the united voices 
of reason and friendship. He promised to lay down his 
arms, and repair to Constantinople, to adjust the qiiarrel 
between him and the marquis of Montferrat. On his arrival, 
the counts and barons spared neither complaints nor 
prayers, and they found him docile to all their counsels. 
The marquis of Montferrat, who very shortly followed him, 
entered the capital with a degree of mistrust; he was 
accompanied by a hundred knights, with their men-at-arms ; 
but the welcome he received from Baldwin and the other 
leaders completely appeased oil his resentments, and dissi- 
pated all his misgivings. From that time the re-establish- 
ment of harmony and peace became the sincere object of the 
Crusaders. The doge of Venice, the counts and barons, 
wit^ the most respected of the knights, who reminded the 
masters of the new empire of the redoubtable institution of 
Vol. II.— 8 


the FXBB8 of the West, gave judgment in the quarrel that 
was submitted to them, and pronounced, without appeal, 
between the king of Thessalonica and the emperor ol Con- 
stantinople. The two princes swore never to listen again 
to perfidious counsels, and embraced in presence of the 
army, who rejoiced at the return of concord, as they would 
have done at a great victory obtained over the enemies of 
the empire. " Great evil might they have done," says 
Villehardouin, " who excited this discord ; for if God had not 
taken pity on the Crusaders, they were in danger of losing 
their conquests, and Christianity might have perished." 

As soon as peace was re-established, the knights and 
barons again quitted the capital to pass through the pro- 
vinces, and subdue such as were refractory. The count of 
Bjois, who had obtained Bithynia, sent his knights across 
the Bosphoru:s ; the troops of the Crusaders gained several 
advantages over those of Lascaris. Penamenia, Lopada, 
Kicomedia, and some other cities, opened their spates to the 
conquerors, after a feeble resistance. The Latms brought 
under their dominion all the coasts of the Propontis and the 
Bosphorus, as far as the ancient Eolis. Henry of Hainault 
was not idle in this new war ; whilst the warriors of the 
count of Blois were pushing their conquests towards Nice, 
he led his men-at-arms into Phrygia, unfurled his triumphant 
banners in the plains where Troy once stood, fought at the 
same time both Greeks and Tiurks, in the fields which had 
been trod by the armies of Xerxes and Alexander, and took 
possession of all the country that extends from the Helles- 
pont to Mount Ida. 

At the same time the marquis of Montferrat, now the 
peaceable master of Thessalonica, undertook the conquest of 
Greece.* He advanced into Thessaly, passed the chain of 
mountains of Olympus and Ossa, and took possession of 
Larissa. Boniface and his knights, without fear and without 
danger, passed through the narrow straits of Thermopylae, 
and penetrated into Beeotia and Attica. They put to flight 

* Claudian has made in his panegyrics of Stilicho, a picture of the in- 
Tasion of the Gottis in the provinces of Greece. These beautiful countries 
had not been invaded since the third century. The Franks scarcely knew 
how to guard their conquests better than the barbarians that had pre« 
coded them. 


Leo Sgurre, who was the Bcourge of a vast promce ; and 
their exploits might have reminded the Greeks of those 
heroes of the early ages who travelled ahout the world 
fighting monsters and subduing tyrants. As all the Greeks, 
for so long a time oppressed. Sighed for a change, the heroes 
of the crusades were everywhere received as liberators. 
Whilst Boniface was becoming possessed of the beautiful 
countries of Greece, Q^oflBrey de YiUehardouin, nephew of 
the marshal of Champagne, established the authority of the 
Latins in the Peloponnesus. After having driven the troops 
of Michael Comnenus to the mountains of Epirus, he occu- 
pied, without fighting, Corpnea and Fatras, and met with no 
resistance except in the canton of Lacediemonia. The 
conquered lands and cities were given to the barons, who 
rendered fealty and homage to the king of Thessalonica and 
the emperor of Constantinople.* Greece then beheld lords 
of Argos and Corinth, grand sieurs of Thebes, dukes of 
Athens, and princes of Achaia. French knights dictated 
laws in the city of Agamemnon, in the city of Minerva,t in 
the country o£ Lycurgus, and in that of Epaminondas. 
Strange destiny of the warriors of this crusade, who had 
quitted the West to conquer the city and lands of Jesus 
Christ, and whom fortune had conducted into places filled 
with the remembrances of the gods of Homer and the glory 
of profane antiquity ! 

The Crusaders were not allowed to felicitate themselves 
long upon their conquests. Possessors of an empire much 
more difficult to be preserved than invaded, they had not the 
ability to master fortune, who soon took fromf them all that 
victory had bestowed. They exercised their power with 
violence, and conciliated neither their subjects nor their 
neighbours. Joannice, king of the Bulgarians, had sent an 
ambassador to Baldwin, with offers of friendship ; Baldwin 

* There is in the king's library a manuscript in modem Greek, bearing 
the number 2,898 ; the first part of this manascript is a romance in verse, 
entitled ** Les Amours de Th^s^ et des Amazones.'' The second part 
of the manuscript is a poem on the crusades ; all the tenth canto describes 
in detail the conquests of the Franks in Greece. M. Khazis, professor 
of modem Greek, had made a short analysis of this poem. ^ 

t The letters of Innocent speak of the city of Athens, which was no 
longer dedicated to Minerva, but to the holy Tirgin. — See b. zx. epis. W. 


replied with much hauffhtinesfi, and threatened to compel 
Joannice to descend from his usurped throne. When 
despoiling the Greeks of their propertj, the Crusaders shut 
out from themselves every source of prosperity, and reduced 
men to whom thev lefl nothing but life, to despair. To fill 
up the measure of their imprudence, they received into their 
armies the Greeks, whom they loaded with contempt, and 
who became their implacable enemies. Not content with 
reigning over cities, they were desirous of subjugating 
hearts to their will, and awakened fanaticism. Unjust perse* 
cutions exasperated the minds of the Greek priests, who 
declaimed with vehemence against tyranny, and who, re- 
duced to misery, were listened to as oracles and revered aa 

The new empire of the Latins, into which the feudal laws 
had been introduced, was divided into a thousand principali* 
ties or lordships, and was nothing but a species of repuDlic, 
governed with ^at difficulty. The Venetians had their 
particular jurisdiction, and the greater part of the cities were 
regulated by turns by the legislation of Venice and the code 
of feudalism. The lords and barons had among themselves 
opposite interests and rivalries, which, every day, were likely 
to bring on discord and civil war. The Latin ecclesiastics, 
who had shared the spoils of the Greek Church, did not at all 
conciliate peace by their example, but carried the scandals 
of their dissensions even into the sanctuary. It was their 
constant wish and endeavour to exalt the laws and authority 
of the court of Bome over those of the emperors. Many of 
them had usurped the fiefs of the barons, and as the fiefs 
they possessed were exempted from military service, the 
empire thus became weakened in its natural defences. 

The delicious climate Mud the riches of Grreece, with the 
long sojourn at Constantinople, enervated the courage of 
the conquerors, and fostered corruption among the soldiers 
of the cross. The nations in the end ceased to respect the 

Sower and the laws of those whose morals and manners they 
espised. As the Latins had separated, some to go into 
Greece, and others into Asia Minor, the Greeks, who no 
longer beheld gr^t armies, and who had sometimes resisted 
their enemies with advantage, began to fancy that the 
warriors of the West were not invincible. 


In their despair, the conquered people resolved to have 
recourse to arms ; and, looking around them to find enemies 
for the Crusaders, thej implored the alliance and protection 
of the king oflbhe Bulgarians. There was formed a widelj- 
extended conspiracy, into which all entered to whom slavery 
was no longer tolerable. All at once the storm burst forth 
by the massacre of the Latins ; a war-cry arose from Mount 
Hemus to the Hellespont ; the Crusaders, dispersed in the 
various cities and countries, were siuprised by a iurious and 
pitiless enemy. The Venetians and French, who gpiarded 
Adrianople and Didymatica, were not able to resist the 
multitude of the Greeks ; some were slaughtered in the 
streets; others retired in disorder, and, in their flight, 
beheld with grief their banners torn down fi?om the towers, 
and replaced by the standards of the Bulgarians. The roads 
were covered with fugitive warriors, who found no asylum 
in a countiy which ktely trembled at the fame of their 

Every city besiesed by the Greeks was ignorant of the 
fate of the other cities confided to the defence of the Latins ; 
communications were interrupted ; sinister rumours prevailed 
in the provinces, which represented the capital in flames, all 
the cities given up to pillage, and all the armies of the 
Pranks dispersed or annihilated. The old chronicles, whilst 
speaking of the barbarity of the Greeks, also describe the 
terror that took possession of some of the barons and knights. 
The sense of danger appears to have stifled in their hearts 
every other feeling. In the hour of peril, crusaders aban- 
doned their companions in arms, brothers abandoned 
brothers. An old knight, Eobert de Trils, who, in spite of 
his grey hairs, had insisted upon following his son to the 
crusade, was besieged by the Greeks in Philippolis ; the city 
was surroimded by enemies, and Bobert had but slender 
hopes of safety. Even in such circumstances, his prayers 
and tears could not prevail upon either his son or his son- 
in-law to remain with him. Villehardouin informs us that 
these recreant warriors were slain in their flight ; for God 
would not save those who had refused to succour their own 

When the report of these disasters reached Constantinople, 
Baldwin assembled the counts and barons; it was deter- 


mined to apply the promptest remedy to so many evils, and 
to put into action all the energies of the empire to stop the 
progress of the revolt. The Crusaders who were, engaged 
in warlike expeditions on the other side of the Bosphorus, 
received orders to ahandon their conquests, and to return 
immediately to the standards of the main army. Baldwin 
waited for them several days, but as he was impatient to 
begin the war, and wished to astonish the enemy by the 
promptitude of his proceedings, he set out at the head of 
the knights that remained in the capital, and, five days after 
his departure, appeared before the walls of Adrianople. 

The leaders of the crusade, accustomed to brave all 
obstacles, were never checked or restrained by the small 
number of their own soldiers, or the multitude of their 
enemies.^ The capital of Thrace, surrounded by impreg- 
nable ramparts, was defended by a hundred thousand 
Greeks, in whom thirst of vengeance supplied the want of 
courage. Baldwin mustered scarcely eight thousand men 
around his banners. The doge of Venice soon arrived with 
eight thousand Venetians. The Latin fugitives came from 
all parts to join this small army. The Crusaders pitched 
their tents, and prepared to lay siege to the city. Their 
preparations proceeded but slowly, and provisions were 
beginning to mil them, when the report reached them of the 
march of the king of the Bulgarians. Joannice, the leader 
of a barbaipuB people, himself more barbarous than his sub- 
jects, was advancing with a formidable army. He concealed 
nis ambitious projects and his desire for vengeance under an 
appearance of religious zeal, and caused a standard of St. 
Peter, which he had received from the pope, to be borne 
before him. This new ally of the Greeks boasted of being 
a leader of a holy enterprise, and threatened to exterminate 
the Franks, whom he accused of having assumed the cross 
for the purpose of ravaging the provinces and pillaging the 
cities of Christians. 

The king of the Bulgarians was preceded in his march by 
a numerous troop of Tartars and Comans, whom the hopes 
of pillage had djsawn from the mountains and forests near 
the banks of the Danube and the Borysthenes. The Comans, 
more ferocious than the nations of Mount Hemus, drank, it 
was said, the blood of their captives, and sacrificed Chris- 


tiflns on the altars of their idols. Like the warriors of 
Scythia, accustomed to fight whilst flying, the Tartar horse- 
men received orders from Joannice to provoke the enemy, 
even in their camp, and to endeavour to draw the heavy 
cavalry of the Franks into an ambuscade. The barons were 
aware of this danger, and forbade the Crusaders to quit 
their tents, or go beyond their intrenchments. But such 
was the character of the French warriors, that prudence, in 
their eyes, deprived valour of all its lustre, and it appeared 
disgraceful to shun the fight in the presence and amidst the 
scoffs of an enemy. 

Scarcely had the Tartars appeared near the camp, when 
the sight of them made even the leaders themselves forget . 
the orders they had issued only the night before. The em- 
peror and the count of Blois flew to meet the enemy, put 
them to flight, and pursued them with ardour for the space 
of two leagues. But all at once the Tartars rallied, and in 
their turn charged the Christians. The latter, who believed 
they had gained a victory, were obliged to defend them- 
selves in a country with which they were unacquainted. 
Their squadrons, exhausted by fatigue, were surpnsed and 
surrounded by the army of Joannice ; pressed on all sides, 
they made useless eflbrts to recover their line of battle, but 
had no power either to fly, or resist the barbarians. 

The count of Blois endeavoured to retrieve his fatal im- 

Erudence by prodigies of valour ; when seriously wounded 
e was thrown from his horse amidst the enemy's ranks, one 
of his knights raised him up, and wished to draw him out of 
the miUe : " No," cried this brave prince, " leave me to fight 
and die. God forbid I should ever be reproached with 
having* fled from battle." As he finished these words, the 
count of Blois fell, covered with wounds, and his faithful 
squire died by his side. 

The emperor Baldwin still disputed the victory; the 
bravest of his knights and barons followed him into the 
melee, and a horrible carnage marked their progress through 
the ranks of the barbarians. Peter bishop of Bethlehem, 
Stephen count of Perche, Eenaud de Montmirail, Mathieu 
de V alencourt, Eobert de Eon9ai, and a crowd of lords and 
valiant warriors lost their lives in defending their sovereign. 
Baldwin remained almost alone on the field of battle, and 


still continued fighting bravely ; but at lengtb, OTerpowered 
by numbers, he fell into the bands of the Bulgarians, who 
loaded him with chains. The wreck of the army retired in 
the greatest disorder, and only owed their safety to the 
prudent bravery of the doge of Venice and the marshal of 
Champagne, who had been left to guard the camp. 

In the night that followed the battle, the Crusaders raised 
the siege of Adrianople, and retook the route to the capital, 
amidst a thousand dangers. The Bulgarians and the Comans, 
proud of their victory, pursued without intermission the 
army they had conquered ; this army, which had lost half of 
its numbers, was in great want of provisions, and had great 
difficulty in dragging along the wounded and the baggage. 
The Crusaders were plunged in a melancholy silence, their 
despair was evident in their actions and on their coun- 
' tenances. At Bodosto they met Henry of Hainault, and 
several other knights, who were on their way from the pro- 
vinces of Asia, to join the army of Adrianople. The retreat- 
ing leaders related with tears their defeat and the captivity 
of Baldwin. All these warriors, who knew not what it was 
to be conquered, expressed at once their astonishment and 
their grief; they mingled their lamentations and tears, and 
raised their hands and eyes towards heaven, to implore the 
divine mercy. The Crusaders who returned from the shores 
of the Bosphorus, addressed the marshal of Eomania, and 
weeping, said to him : " Order us where the greatest danger 
exists, for we no longer wish to live : are we not sufficiently 
unfortunate in not having come in time to succour our em- 
peror ?'* Thus the knights of the cross, though pursued by 
a victorious enemy, were still strangers to fear ; the grief 
caused by the remembrance of their defeat scarcely allowed 
them to be sensible of the perils by which they were 

All the Crusaders, however, did not exhibit this noble 
degree of courage ; many Imights* whom Villehardouin is 

* It is here that for the last time we quote the History of Villehar- 
douin ; we shall perhaps be reproached with haxing quoted it too often, 
and by that means given too much monotony to our account. We will 
answer, that the natural relation and expressions of such an historian, who 
relates what he has seen and that which he has experienced, have appeared 
to OS above all that talent or the art of writing could substitute in their 


not willing to name, that he may not dishonour their 
memory, abandoned the banners of the army and fled to 
Constantinople ; they related the disasters of the Crusaders, 
and, to excuse their desertion, drew a lamentable picture of 
the misfortunes that threatened the empire. All the Franks 
were seized with grief and terror, on teaming they had no 
longer an emperor. The Greeks that inhabited the capital, 
applauded in secret the triumph of the Bulgarians, and their 
ill-concealed joy still further increased the alanns of the 
I^itins. A great number of knights, overcome by so many 
reverses, saw no safety but in flight, and embarked hastily 
on board some Yenetuin vessels. In vain the legate of the 
pope and several leaders of the army endeavoured to detain 
them, threatening them with the anger of Gk>d and the con- 
tempt of men : they renounced their own glory ; they aban- 
doned an empire founded by their arms, and went to announce 
the captivi^ of Baldwin in the cities of the West, where the 
rejoidngs for the first victories of the Crusaders were still 
being celebrated. 

In the mean time, Joannice continued his pursuit of the 
conquered army. The Greeks, united with the Bulgarians, 
took possession of all the provinces, and left the Latins no 
repose. Among the disasters of which contemporary history 
has left us a deplorable account, we must not forget the 
massacre of twenty thousand Armenians. This numerous 
colony had left the banks of the Euphrates, and established 
themselves in the province of Natofia. After the conquest 
of Constantinople, they declared for the Latins, and when 
the latter experienced their reverses, finding themselves 
menaced and pursued by the Greeks, they crossed the Bos- 
phorus, and followed Henry of Hainault, who was marching 
towards Adrianople. The Armenians took with them their 
flocks and their families : they drew, in carriages, aU that they 
possessed that was most valuable, and had great difficulty, 
on their march across the mountains of Thrace, in keep- 
ing up with the army of the Crusaders. These unfortunate 
people were surprised by the Tartars, and, to a man, perished 
Deneath the swords of a pitiless conqueror. The Franks 

place. We are pleased at believing, that if our recital has been able 
to intereat our readerii we owe a great part of this interest to the muU 
tiplied quotatioBi from ViUehardonin and other oontemponxy historians. 



wept at the defeat and destruction of the Armenians, 
without being able to avenge them : they had nothing but 
enemies throughout the vast provinces of the empire. 
Beyond the Bosphorus, they only preserved the castle of 
Peges : on the European side, only Bodosto and Selembria. 
Their conquests in ancient Greece were not yet threatened 
by the Bulgarians ; but these distant possessions only served 
to divide their forces. Henry of Hainault, who took the 
title of regent, performed prodigies of valour in endeavour- 
ing to retake some of the cities of Thraoe ; and lost, in 
various combats, a great number of the warriors that re- 
mained under his banners. 

The bishop of Soissons and some other Crusaders, in- 
vested with the confidence of their unfortunate companions 
in arms, were sent into Italy, France, and the county of 
Flanders, to solicit the assistance of the knights and barons; 
but the succoiur they hoped for could only arrive slowly, and 
the enemy continued to make rapid progress. The army of 
the Bulgarians, like a violent tempest, advanced on all sides ; 
it desolated the shores of the Hellespont, extended its 
ravages into the kingdom of Thessalonica, repassed Mount 
Hcmus, and retuined, more numerous and more formidable 
than ever, to the banks of the Hebrus. The Latin empire 
had no other defenders but a few warriors divided among 
the various cities and fortresses, and every day war and de- 
sertion diminished the numbers and strength of the unfor- 
tunate conquerors of Byzantium. Five hundred knights, 
picked warriors of the army of the Crusaders, were attacked 
before the walls of Eusium, and cut to pieces by a countless 
multitude of Bulgarians and Comans. This defeat was not 
less fatal than the battle of Adrianople; the hordes of 
Mount Hemus and the Borysthenes carried terror every- 
where. On their passage, the country was in flames, and 
the cities afibrded neither refuge nor means of defence. 
The land was covered with soldiers, who slaughtered all who 
came in their way ; the sea was covered with pirates^ who 
threatened every coast with their brigandage. Constan- 
tinople expected every day to see the standards of the vic- 
torious Joannice beneath its walls, and onlv owed its safety 
to the excess of evils that desolated all the provinces 
of the empire. 


The king of the Bulgarians did not spare his aUies any 
more than his enemies; he burnt and demolished all the 
cities that fell into his hands. He ruined the inhabitants, 
dragged them in his train like captiyes, and made them 
iin&rgo, in addition to the calamities of war, all the out- 
rages of a jealous and barbarous tymmy. The Greeks, who 
had solicited his assistance, were at last reduced to implore 
the aid of the Latins against the implacable fury of their 
allies. The Crusaders accepted with joy the alliance with 
the Greeks, whom. they never ought to have repulsed, and 
re-entered into Adrianople. Didymatica, and most of the 
cities of Eomania, shook off the intolerable yoke of the 
Bulgarians, and submitted to the Latins. The Greeks, 
whom Joannice had urged on to despair, showed some bravery, 
and became useful auxiliaries to the Latins ; and the new 
empire might have hoped for a return of days of prosperity 
and glory, if so many calamities could possibly have been 
repaired by a few transient successes. But all the provinces 
were strewed with ruins, and the cities and countries were 
without inhabitants. The hordes of Mount Hemus, whether 
victorious or conquered, still continued their predatory 
habits. They easily recovered from their losses ; the losses 
of the Franks became every day more irreparable. The 
leader of the Bulgarians sought out everywhere the foes of 
the new empire ; and, being abandoned by the Greeks of 
Bomania, he formed an alliance with Lascans, the implacable 
enemy of the Latins. 

The pope in vain exhorted the nations of France and 
Italy to take up arms for the assistance of the conquerors 
of Byzantium ; ne could not awaken their enthusiasm for a 
cause that presented to its defenders nothing but certain 
evils, and dangers without glory. 

Amidst the perils that continued to multiply, the Crusaders 
remained perfectly ignorant of the fate oi Baldwin ; some- 
times it was said that he had broken his bonds, and had 
been seen wandering in the forests of Servia ;* sometimes 

* Among the romantic accounts that were circuUted concerning Bald- 
win, we muat not omit the following: — ^The emperor was kept close 
prisoner at Terenova, where the wife of Joannice became desperately in 
love with him, and proposed to him to escape with her. Baldwin re- 
jected this proposal, and the wife of Joannice, irritated by his disdain and 


that he had died of grief in prison ; sometimes that he had 
been massacred in the midst of a banquet by the king of 
the Bulgarians ; that his mutihited members had been cast 
out upon the rocks, and that his skull, enchased in gold, 
served as a cup for his barbarous conqueror. Several mes- 
sengers, sent by Henry of Hainault, travelled through the 
cities of Bulgaria to learn the fate of Baldwin ; but returned 
to Constantmople, without having been able to ascertain 
anything. A year after the battle of Adrianople, the pope, 
at the solicitation of the Crusaders, conjured Joannice to 
restore to the Latins of Byzantium the head of their new 
empire. The king of the Bulgarians contented himself 
with replying, that Baldwin had paid the tribute of nature, 
and that his deliverance was no longer in the power of mor- 
tals. This answer destroyed all hopes of again seeing the 
imprisoned monarch, and the Latins no longer entertained a 
doubt of the death of their emperor. Henry of Hainault 
received the deplorable heritage of his brother with tears 
and deep regret, and succeeded to the empire amidst general 
mourning and sorrow. To complete their misfortunes, the 
Latins had to weep for the loss of Dandolo, who finished his 
glorious career at Constantinople, and whose last looks 
must have perceived the rapid decline of an empire he had 
founded.* The greater part of the Crusaders had either 

refusal, accused him to her husband of haying entertained an adulterous 
passion. The barbarous Joannice caused his unfortunate captive to be 
massacred at a banquet, and his body was cast on to the rocks, a prey to 
vultures and wild beasts. 

But people could not be convinced that he was dead. A hermit had 
retired to the forest of Glanfon, on the Hainault side, and the people of 
the neighbourhood became persuaded that this hermit was Count Bald^t-in. 
The solitary at first answered with frankness, and refused the homage 
they wished to render him. They persisted, and at length he was induced 
to play a part, and gave himself out for Baldwin. At first he had a great 
many partisans ; but the king of France, Louis Till., having invited him 
to his court, he was confounded by the questions that were put to him : 
he took to flight, and was arrested in Burgundy by Erard de Chastenai, a 
Bvrgundian gentleman, whose family still exists. Jane countess of 
Flanders caused the impostor to be hung in the great square of Lisle. — 
See Duconge, Hist, de Conttani. book iii. 

* Dandolo was magnificently buried in the church of St. Sophia, and 
his mausoleum existed till the destruction of the Greek empire. Mahomet 
TL caused it to be demolished, when he changed the church of St. Sophia 
Into a mosque. A Venetian painter, who worked during several years ia 


perished in battle, or returned to the West. Boniface, in 
an expedition against the Bulgarians of Bhodope, received a 
mortiu wound, and his head was carried in triumph to the 
fierce Joannice, who had akeady immolated a monarch to 
his ambition and vengeance. The succession of Boniface 

fave birth to serious disputes among the Crusaders ; and the 
ingdom of Thessalonica, which had exhibited some splen- 
dour during its short existence, disappeared amidst the 
confusion' and the storms of a civil ana a foreign war. In 
the brother and successor of Baldwin were united the civil 
and military virtues ; but he could scarcely hope to restore 
a power so shaken on all sides. 

I have not the courage to pursue this history, and describe 
the Latins in the extremes of their abasement and misery. 
On commencing my narration, I said: ^* £vil to the con- 
quered;** on terminating it, I cannot refrain from saying: 
" Evil to the conquerors** 

An old empire which moulders away, a new empire ready 
to sink into ruins, such are the pictures that this crusade 
presents to us ; never did any epoch offer greater exploits 
for admiration, or greater troubles for commiseration. 
Amidst these glorious and tragical scenes, the imagination 
is excited in the most lively manner, and passes, without 
ceasing, from surprise to surprise. We are at first asto- 
nished at seeing an armv of thirty thousand men embark to 
conquer a country whicn might reckon upon many millions 
of defenders ; a tempest, an epidemic disease, want of pro- 
visions, disunion among the leaders, an indecisive battle, all, 
or any of these, might have ruined the arm3r of the Cru- 
saders, and brought about the failure of their enterprise. 
By an unheard-oi good fortune, nothing that they had to 
dread happened to them. They triumphed over all dangers, 
and surmounted all obstacles: without having any party 
among the Greeks, they obtained possession of their capital 
and the provinces ; and, at the moment when they saw their 
standards triumphant all around them, it was that their 
fortune desertea tliem, and their ruin began.- A great 
lesson is this, given to nations by Providence, which some- 

the court of Mahomet, on returning to his own country obtftined from 
the sultan tlte cuirass, the helmet, the spurs, and the toga of Dandolo, 
which h« prMentad to th« family of this great i 


times employs conquerors to chastise both people and 
princes, and then, at its pleasure, destroys the instrument 
of its justice! There is no doubt that that Providence, 
which protects empires, will not permit great states to be 
subverted with impunity ; and to deter those who wish to 
conquer everything by force of arms, it has decreed that 
victory shall sometimes bear none but very bitter fruits. 

The Greeks, a degenerate nation, honoured their mis- 
fortunes by no virtue ; they had neither sufficient courage 
to prevent the reverses of war, nor sufficient resignation to 
support them. When reduced to despair, they showed 
some little valour; but that valour was imprudent and 
blind ; it precipitated them into new calamities, and pro- 
cured them masters much more barbarous than those whose 
yoke they were so easer to shake off. They had no leader 
able to govern or guide them ; no sentiment of patriotism 
strong enough to rally them : deplorable example of a nation 
left to itself, which has lost its morals, and has no confidence 
in its laws or its government! 

The Franks had just the same advantages over their 
enemies that the barbarians of the north had over tho 
Bomans of the Lower Empire. In this terrible conflict, 
simplicity of manners, the energy of a new people for civili- 
zation, the ardour for pillage, and the pride of victory, were 
sure to prevail over the love of luxury, habits formed amidst 
corruption, and vanity which attaches importance to the 
most frivolous things, and only preserves a gaudy resem- 
blance of true grandeur. 

The events we have recorded are, doubtless, sufficient to 
make us acauainted with the manners and intellectual 
faculties of the Greeks and Latins. Two historians, how- 
ever, who have served us as guides, may add by their st}'le 
even, and the character of their works, to the idea that we 
form of the genius of the two races. 

The Greek Nicetas makes long lamentations over the 
misfortunes of the vanquished ; he deplores with bitterness 
the loss of the monuments, the statues, the riches which 
ministered to the luxury of his compatriots. His accounts, 
full of exaggeration and hyperboles, sprinkled all over with 
passages mm the Scriptures and profane authors, depart 
almost always from the noble simplicity of history, and only 

HISTOBT 07 THX CBTJ8iJ)£8. 175 

exhibit a vain affectation of learning. Nicetas, in the excess 
of his vanity,* hesitates to pronounce the names even of the 
Franks, ana fancies he infficts a punishment upon them bj 
preserving silence as -to their exploits; when he describes 
the misfortunes of the empire, he can only weep and 
lament ; but whilst lamenting, he is still anxious to please, 
and appears much more interested about his book than his 

The marquis of Champagne does not pique himself upon 
his erudition, but even seems proud of his ignorance. It 
has been said that he could not write, and he himself con- 
fesses that he dictated his history. His narration, void of 
all spirit of research, but lively and animated, constantly 
recalls the language and the noble frankness of a pretix 
chevalier. Yillehardouin particularly excels in the speeches 
of his heroes, and delights in praising the bravery of his 
companions : if he never names the Grecian warriors, it is 
because he did not know them, and did not wish to know 
them. The marshal of Champa^o is not affected by the 
evils of war, and only elevates his style to paint traits of 
heroism ; the enthusiasm of victoir alone can draw tears 
from him. When the Latins experienced great reverses, he 
cannot weep, he is silent ; and it may be pkinjy seen he has 
laid down his book to go and fight.f 

There is another contemporary historian, whose character 
may likewise assist us in forming a judgment upon the age 
in which he lived and the events he has related. Gunther, 
a monk of the order of Citeaux, who wrote under the dic- 
tation of Martin Litz, expatiates upon the preaching of 
the crusade, atd on the virtues of nis abbot, who placed 

* Nicetu did not know whether \\^ ought to give a place in )ni History 
lo tlie Latins, who were for him nothing but barbarians, but he makes up 
his mind to continue — " when God, who confounds the wisdom of human 
pohcy, and lowers the pride of the lofty, has struck with confusion those 
who bad outraged the Greeks, and delivered them up to people still more 
wicked than themselves." — See the history of that which happened after 
the taking of Constantinople, chap. i. 

t How is it that our author, who is evidently partial to Villehardotiin, 
has neje;lected to ppeak of his skilful retreat frgm Adrianople, upon 
which Gibbon bestows such high praise ? "His masterly retreat of three 
days would have deserved the praise of Xenophon and the ten thousand/' 
Gibbon has fine passaget on ViUehardomn. — ^Trans. 


himself at the head of the Cnisadera of the diooeae of B41e. 
When the Christian arraj directs its course towards the 
capital of the Greek empire, Gunther remembers the orders 
of the pope, and becomes silent ; if he affords us a few 
words upon the second siege of Constantinople, he cannot 
conceal the terror which this rash enterprise creates in him. 
In his recital, the ralour of the Crusaders scarcely obtains a 
modest eulogy; the imagination of the historian is only 
struck by the difficulties and perils of the expedition ; filled 
with the most sinister presentiments, he constantly repeats 
that there is no hope of success for the Latins. When they 
are triumphant, his fear is changed all at once into admira- 
tion. The monk Gunther celebrates with enthusiasm the 
unhoped-for success of the conquerors of Byzantium, among 
whom he never loses si^ht of his abbot, Martin Litz, loaded 
with the pious spoils oi Ghreece. 

When reading the three histories contemporary with the 
expedition to Constantinople, we plainly perceive that the 
first belongs to a Greek brought up at the court of Byzan- 
tium, the second to a French knight, and the third to a 
monk. If the two first historians, oy their manner of writ- 
ing and the sentiments they express, give us a just idea of 
the Greek ni^ion and the heroes of the West, the last may 
also explain to us the opinions and the character of the 
greater part of those Crusaders, who were constantly threat- 
ening to quit the army after it had left Venice, and who, 
perhaps, were only so mindful of the oath they had made to 
go to the Holy Land, because the name alone of Constan- 
tinople filled them with terror. There were, as may be 
plainly seen, but very few of these timid Chisaders in the 
Christian army, and even these were governed by the gene- 
ral spirit that animated the knights and barons. Other 
crusades had been preached in councils, this crusade was 

? reclaimed at tournaments ; thus the greater parts of the 
Jrusaders proved more faithful to the virtues and laws of 
chivalry than to the will of the Holy See. These warriors, 
so proud and so brave, were full of respect for the authority 
and jtrdgment of the pope ; but, governed by honour, placed 
between their first vows and their word given to the Vene- 
tians, they often swore to deliver Jerusalem, and were led, 
without thinking of it, to the walls of Gonstantinqple. 



Armed to avenge tbe cause of Christ, thej became subser- 
vient to the ambition of Venice, to which republic they 
esteemed themselves bound by gratitude, and overturned 
the throne of Constantinople to pay a debt of fiffcy thousand 
silver marks. 

The chivalric spirit, one of the peculiar characteristics of 
this war, and of the age in which it was undertaken, kept 
up in the hearts of the Crusaders ambition and the love of 
glory. In the early days of chivalry, knights declared them- 
selves the champions of beauty and innocence ; at first they 
were appealed to for justice against injuries and robberies; 
but soon princes and princesses, deprived of their rights by 
force, came to demand of them the restitution of provinces 
and kingdoms. The champions of misfortune and beauty 
then became illustrious liberators and true conquerors. 

At the same time that a young prince came to implore 
the Crusaders to assist him in replacing his father upon the 
throne of Constantinople, a ^roung princess, the daughter of 
Isaac, king of Cyprus, despoiled by Eichard Coeur de Lion, 
repaired to Marseilles, to solicit the support of the Cru- 
saders, who were embarking for Palestine. She married a 
Flemish knight, and charged him with the task of recovering 
her father's kingdom. This Flemish knic^ht, whose name 
history does not mention, but who belonged to the family of 
Count Baldwin, when he arrived in the East, addressed liim- 
self to the king of Jerusalem, and demanded the kingdom 
of Cyprus of him ; he was supported in his demand by the 
ch4telain of Bruges, and the greater part of his companions 
who had taken the cross. Amaury, who had received from 
the pope and the emperor of Germany, the title of king of 
Cvprus, far from yielding to such pretensions, ordered the 
Flemish knight, John of Nesle, and their companions, to 
quit his dominions. The knights who had embraced the 
cause of the daughter of Isaac, abandoned the idea of re- 
taking the kingdom of Cyprus, and without stopping in the 
Holy Land, turned their steps towards the banks of the 
Euphrates and the Orontes, to seek for other countries to 

Before there was a question of attacking Constantinople, 
we have seen a daughter of Tancred, the last king of Sicily, 
espouse a French knight, and tranafer to him the charge of 


avenging her family and establishing her claims to the king- . 
dom founded by the Norman knights. Gauthier de Brienne, 
afler his marriage, set out for Italy, furnished with a thou- 
sand livres toumois, and accompanied by sixty knights. 
Having received at Eome the benediction of the pope, he 
declared war against the Grermans, then masters of Apulia 
and Sicily ; got possession of the principal fortresses,* and 
appeared likely to enjoy the fruits of his victories in peace, 
when he was surprised in iis tent, and fell, covered with 
woiuids, into the hands of his enemies. He was offered his 
liberty upon the condition of renouncing his claim to the 
crown of^ Sicily ; but he preferred the title of king to free- 
dom, and allowed himself to die with hunger rather than 
abandon his rights to a kingdom which victory had bestowed 
upon him. 

This spii*it of conquest, which appeared so general among 
the knights, might favour the expedition to Constantinople ; 
but it was iinurious to the holy war, by turning the Cru- 
saders aside m)m the essential object of the crusade. The 
heroes of this war did nothing for the deliverance of Jeru- 
salem, of which they constantly spoke in their letters to the 
pope. The conquest of Byzantium, very far from being, as 
the knights believed, the road to the land of Christ, was but 
a new obstacle to the taking of the holy city ; their impru- 
dent exploits placed the Christian colonies in greater peril, 
and only ended in completely subverting, without replacing 
it, a power which might have served as a barrier against the 

The Venetians skilfully took advantage of this disposition 
of the French knights ; V enice succeeded in stilling the voice 
of the sovereign pontiff, who often gave the Crusaders coun- 
sels dictated by the spirit of the gospel. The republic had 
the greatest influence over the events of this war, and over 
the minds of the barons and knights, who allowed themselves 
to be governed by turns by the sentiments of honour and 

* Innocent, to get rid of the neighbourhood of the emperor, demanded 
of Philip Augustus a knight who might marry a daughter of Tancred, and 
possibly reconquer Sicily. The adventures and the wars of Gauthier de 
Brienne are reUted by Conrad, abbot of Usberg, Robert the Monk, 
Alberic, and, as «e h.ive already said, by the aathor of the AcIk ujf 


by a desire to win rich dominions, and thus exhibited 
throughout their conduct an inconsistent mixture of gene- 
rosity aud avarice. 

The inclination to enrich themselves by victory had, par- 
ticularly, no longer any bounds when the Crusaders had 
once beheld Constantinople; ambition took the place in 
their hearts of every generous sentiment, and lefl nothing 
of that enthusiasm which had been the moving principle of 
other crusades. No prodigy, no miraculous apparition came 
to second or stimulate the valoiir of knights to whom it was 
quite sufficient to point out the wealth of Greece . In pre- 
ceding crusades, the bishops and ecclesiastics promised the 
combatants indulgences of the Church and eternal life ; but 
in this war, as the Crusaders had incurred the displeasure of 
the head of the faithful, they could not be supported in 
their perils by the hope of martyrdom ; and the leaders who 
were acquainted with the spirit that animated their followers, 
contented themselves with offering a sum of money to 
the soldier that should first mount the ramparts of Con- 
stantinople. When they had pillaged the citjr, knights, 
barons, and soldiers exclaimed, in the intoxication of their 
joy, — ii^ever was so rich a booty seen since the creation ^fthe 
world ! 

We have remarked that, in the conquest of the provinces, 
every knight wished to obtain a principality ; every count, 
every lord, wished for a kingdom; the clergy themselves 
were not exempt from this ambition, and oflen complained 
to the pope of not having been fEivoured in the division of 
the spoils of the Greek empire. 

To recapitulate, in a few words, our opinion of the events 
and consequences of this crusade, we must say that the 
spirit of chivalry and the spirit of conquest at first gave 
birth to wonders ; but that they did not suffice to maintain 
the Crusaders in their possessions. This conquering spirit, 
carried to the most blind excess, did not allow tnem to reflect 
that among the greatest triumphs, there is a point at which 
victory and force themselves are powerless, if prudence and 
wisdom do not come to the assistance of valour. 

The Franks, their ancestors, who set out from the North 
to invade the richest provinces of the Boman empire, were 
better seconded by fortune, but more particularly by their 

180 HI8T0BT OT THB CBT7aA3)X8. 


own genius. Bespecting tbe usages of the countries that 
submitted to their arms, thej only beheld in the conquered, 
fellow-citizens and supporters of their own power ; they did 
not create a foreign nation in the midst of the nations they 
bad desolated by their victories. The Crusaders, on the 
contrary, evinced a profound contempt for the Greeks, whose 
alliance and support they ought to have been anxious to 
seek ; they wished to reform manners and alter opinions, — 
a much more difficult task than the conquest of an empire, — 
and only met with enemies in a country that might have 
furnished them with useful allies. 

We may add that the policy of the Holy See, which at 
first undertook to divert. the Latin warriors from the expe- 
dition to Constantinople, became, in the end, one of the 
greatest obstacles to the preservation of their conquests. 
The counts and barons, who reproached themselves with 
having failed in obedience to the sovereign pontiff, at length 
followed scrupulously his instructions to procure by their 
arms the submission of the Greek Church, the only condition 
on which the holy father would pardon a war commenced in 
opposition to his commands. To obtain his forgiveness and 
approbation, they employed violence against schism and 
heresy, and lost their conquest by endeavouring to justify it 
in the eyes of the sovereign pontiff. The pope himself did 
not obtain that which he so ardently desired. The union 
of the Greek and Boman churches could not possibly be 
effected amidst the terrors of victory and the evils of war ; 
the arms of the conquerors had less power than the anathe- 
mas of the Church, to bring back the Greeks to the worship 
of the Latins. Violence only served to irritate men's mind^, 
and consummated the rupture, instead of putting an end to 
it. The remembrance of persecutions ana outrages, a reci- 
procal contempt, an implacable hatred arose and became 
implanted between the two creeds, and separated them for 

History cannot affirm that this crusade made great pro- 
gress in the civilization of Europe. The Greeks had pre- 
served the jurisprudence of Justinian ; the empire possessed 
wise regulations upon the levying of imposts and the admi- 
nistration of the public revenues ; but the Latins disdained 


these montiments of boman wisdom and of the eiperience 
of many ages ; they coveted nothing the Greeks possessed 
but their territories and their wealth. Most of the knights 
took a pride in their ignorance, and amongst the spoib of 
Constantinople, attached no yalue to the ingenious produc- 
tions of Greece. Amidst the conflagrations that consumed 
the mansions and palaces of the capital, they beheld with 
indifference large and valuable libraries given up to the 
flames. It must be confessed, however, that, in these great 
disasters the Muses had not to weep for the loss of any of 
the master-pieces they had inspired. If the conquerors 
knew not how to appreciate the treasures of genius, this 
rich deposit was not to be lost for their descendants. All 
the books of antiquity that were known in the time of 
Eustathius [A. D. 750, Tbans.], and of which that learned 
philosopher made the nomenclature some centuries before 
the fifth crusade, enriched France and Italy at the revival of 

We may add that the necessity for both conquerors and 
conquered of intercommunication must have contributed to 
the spreading of the Latin language among the Greeks, and 
that of the Greeks among the Latins.* The people of 

* We cannot refrain from offering onf readers a curions passa^ from 
an excellent manuscript memoir which M. Jourdain has communicated 
to US, entitled Recherche* sur let Anciennee Vernona Latinee d*Aruio(e 
employ^ee par lee EccUsiaatiquee du 13m« Steele. "Two circumstances 
contributed in the thirteenth century to materially spread the knowledge 
of the Greek language in the West. Baldwin, who was placed upon the 
imperial throne, wrote to Pope Innocent III. to beg of him to send to 
him men distinguished by their piety and knowledge, chosen from the , 
religious orders and the University of Paris, to instruct his new people in 
the Catholic religion and Latin letters. The pope wrote to several mo> 
nastic orders and to the University of Paris. About the same time Philip 
Augustus founded at Paris, near the mountain St. Genevieve, a Constan- 
tiaopolitan college, destined to receive the young Greeks of the most djs- 
tingttished families of Constantinople. The intention of this prince was 
to extinguish in the hearts of these young men the hatred they had im- 
bibed against the Latins, by offering to them all sorts of kind treatment, 
and perh^>s also to secure hostages against the fickleness and bad faith of 
the Greeks. We can conceive that this circumstance contributed power- 
fully in diffusing the knowledge of Greek, not only in France but in all 
the West, for Paris was then the most celebrated s«diool, and almost all 
the men to whom Latb translations from the Greek are attribntad, had 


Greece were obliged to learn the idiom of the clergy of 
Some in order to make their petitions and complaints known ; 
the ecclesiastics charged by the pope to convert the Greeks 
could not dispense with the studj of the language of Plato 
and Demosthenes, to teach the disciples of Photius the 
truths of the Boman Catholic religion. 

We have spoken of the destruction of the master-pieces 
of sculpture ; we must admit, nevertheless, that some of 
them escaped the barbarism of the conquerors. The Vene- 
tians, more enlightened than the other Crusaders, and bom 
in a city constructed and embellished by the arts, caused 
several of the monuments of Byzantium to be transported 
into Italy. Four horses of bronze,* which, amidst the revo- 
lutions of empires, had passed from Greece to Home, from 
Bome to Constantinople, were sent to decorate the place of 
St. Mark : many ages after this crusade, the^ were doomed 
to be carried away from Venice, in its turn invaded by vic- 
torious armies, and again to return to the shores of the 
Adriatic, as eternal trophies of war, and &ithful companions 
of victory. 

The Crusaders likewise profited by several useful inven- 
tions, and transmitted them to their compatriots ; and the 
fields and gardens of Italy and France were enriched by 
some plants till that time unknown in the West. Boniface 

studied in that city : we must also assi^ to the same cause the Latin 
versions of Aristotle made firom the Greek and published before St. Thomas. 
Nevertheless, if the Arabs had not previously spread throughout the West 
a taste for the Peripatetic philosophy, it is very doubtful whether the 
relations established between the East and the West by the inauguration 
of Baldwin, would have produced any desire to obtain it from purer 

* Since their restoration to Venice, the history of these three celebrated 
horses has given birth to three dissertations. In one {Narrazione Storica 
dei Quairo Qwalii di Bronzo, &c.). Count Cicognara, president of the 
Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Venice, pretends that this monument was cast 
at Rome in the reign of Nero, in commemoration of the victory over Tiri- 
dates. M. ScUegel {Lettera at Signori Oomjniatori della BUiioUea 
I(aiiana) rejects this opinion of the count, and thinks that the four bronze 
horses are from the hands of a Greek statuary of the time of Alexander. — 
Dei Quairo CavalU della Banlica di S, Marco, Andre Mustozidi, a 
very learned young Greek, makes this superb group oome from Chios, 
which was rich in skilful sculptors, and believes they were transmitted tb 
Rome in the time of Verretf and to Constantinople under Theodottot tha 


sent into his marqiusate some seeds of maize, which had 
never before be^n cultivated in Italy : a public document, 
which still exists, attests the gratitude of the people of 
Montferrat. The magistrates received the innocent fruits 
of victory with great solemnity, and, upon their altars, 
caUed down a blessing upon a production of Greece, that 
would one day constitute the wealth of the plains of Italy.* 

Elanders, Champagne, and most of the provinces of 
Prance, which had sent their bravest warriors to the cm* 
Bade, fruitlessly lavished their population and their treasures 
upon the conquest of Byzantium. We may say that our in- 
trepid ancestors gained nothing by this wonderful war, but 
the glory of having given, for a moment, masters to Con- 
stantinople, and lords to Greece. And yet these distant 
conquests, and this new empire, which drew from France its 
turbulent and ambitious prmces, must have been favourable 
to the French monarchy. Philip Augustus must have been 
pleased by the absence of the great vassals of the crown, and 
had reason to learn with joy that the coimt of Flanders, a 
troublesome neighbour, and a not verv submissive vassal, 
had obtained an empire in the East. The French monarchy 
thus derived some advantage from this crusade ; but the re- 
public of Venice profited much more by it. 

This republic, which scarcely possessed a population of 
two hundred thousand souls, and had not the power to make 
its authority respected on the continent, in the first place, 
made use of the arms of the Crusaders, to subdue cities, of 
which, without their assistance, she could never have made 
herself mistress. By the conquest of Constantinople, she 
enlarged her credit and her commerce in the East, and 
brought imder her laws some of the richest possessions of 
the Greek emperors. She -increased the reputation of her 
navy, and raised herself above all the maritime nations of 
Europe. The Venetians, though fighting under the banners 
of the cross, never neglected the interests or glory of their 
own country, whilst the French knights scarcely ever fought 
for any object but personal glory and their own ambition. 

* We find in the first Tolame of an Italian work entitled Storia d*Incisa 
e del gia celebre suo Marchesato^ pablished at Asti, in 1810, a precious 
monament ; this is a charter which proves the sending of the seeds of 
maise to a city of Montferrat. This is a very mterestiiig document. 


The republic of Venice, accuatoined to calculate the advan- 
tages and expenses of war, immediately renpimced all con- 
quests the preseryation of which might become burdensome ; 
and of her new possessions in the East, only retained such 
as she judged necessary to the prosperity oi her commerce, 
or the maintiBnance of her marme. Three years after the 
taking of Constantinople, the senate of Venice published an 
edict, by which it permitted any of the citizsens to conquer 
the islands of the Archipelago ; yielding to them the pro- 
prietorship of all the countries they might subdue. After 
this there soon appeared princes of Nazos, dukes of Paros, 
and lords of Mycone, as there had been dukes of Athens, 
lords of Thebes, and princes of Achaia ; but these dukes and 
princes were only vassals of the republic. Thus Venice, 
more fortunate than France, made the valour and ambition 
of her citizens subservient to her interests. 



A.D. 1200—1215. 

If the preceding books, the imposing spectacle has passed 
before our eyes of the fall of an old empire, and of the rise 
and rapid decline of a new one. The imagination of man 
loTes to dwell upon ruins, and the most sanguinair cata- 
strophes even offer him highly attractive pictures. We have 
reason to fear that our narration will create less interest, 
awaken less curiosity, when, after the great revolutions we 
have described, it will be our duty to turn our attention to 
the petty states the Christians founded in Syria, for the 
safety of which the nations of the West were constantly 
calleci upon to furnish warlike assistance. 

At the present day, we have great difficulty in compre* 
bending that enthusiasm which animated all classes for the 
deliverance of the holy places, or that powerful interest that 
directed the thoughts of all to countries almost forgotten by 
modern Europe.* During the height of the fervour for 
the crusades, the taking of a city or town of Judea caused 
more joy than the taking of Byzantium ; and Jerusalem was 
more dear to the Christians of the West than their own 
country. This enthusiasm, of which our indifference can 
scarcely form an idea, renders the task of the historian diffi- 
cult, and makes him ofben hesitate in the choice of the 
events that history has to record: when opinions have 

* It is well worthy of remark that it la very little more than a quarter 
of a eantary since this sentence was written ; and, in that short period, 
what has noi ^oienae effected ! — the East, of whidi we were then said to 
be tio ignorant, eAetter known to Bavopeans than it was at any time 
dorinfr the rrnsaaeB. — ^Traks. 
Vol. II.— 9 


changed, everytliing has changed with them: glory itself 
has lost its splendour, and that which appeared great in the 
eyes of men, seems only fantastical or vnJgar ; the historical 
epochs of our annals have become the objects of our most 
sovereign contempt ; and when, without due reference to 
tlie ages of the holy wars, we wish to submit these extraor- 
dinary enterprises to the calculations of reason, we resemble 
those modern travellers who have only found a dribbling 
rivulet in the place of that famous Scamander, of which the 
imagination of the ancients, and still more, the muse of 
Homer, had made a majestic river. 

But if we have no longer the task of describing the revo- 
lutions and falls of empires, the epoch of which we are 
about to trace the picture, will still present to us but too 
many of those great calamities with which human life sup- 
plies history : whilst Greece was a prey to all the ravages 
of wAr, the most cruel scourges desolated both Egypt and 

The !Nllo suspended its accustomed course, and failed to 
inundate its banks or render the harvests abundant. The 
last year of this century (1200) announced itself, says an 
Arabian author, like a monster whose fury threatened to de- 
vour everything. "When the famine began to be felt, the 
people were compelled to support themselves upon the grass 
of the fields and the ordure of animals,* the poor routed up^ 
cemeteries, and disputed with the worms the spoils of coffins. 
When this awful scourge became more general, the popula- 
tion of the cities and country, as if pursued by a pitiless 
enemy, fled away from their homes in despair, and wandered 
about at hazarct from city to city, from village to village, 
meeting everywhere with the evil they wished to avoid ; in 
no inhabited place could they step a foot without being 
struck by the appearance of a putrifying carcass, or some 
unhappy wretch on the point of expiring. 

The most frightM eflect of this universal calamity was, 
that the want of food gave birth to the greatest crimes, and 

* The account of this Pamine, and the disasters by which it was followed, 
is to be found in its details, in Leg Reiati<mt de VEffffpte, translated from 
Abdallatif by M. Letvestre de Lacy. This Arabian anthor was a skilful 
phyiiicinn and nn enlightened man ; and his recital, which contains mal^y 
extraordinary fact<, bears all the characters of tmth. 

HIBTOBT or THE OBT78iJ)X8. 187 

rendered ereiy man the enemy of his fellows. At the com- 
mencement of the famine much horror was expressed at 
some being reduced to feed upon human flesh, but examples 
of BO great a scandal increased with such rapidity, that it 
was soon spoken of ¥rith indifference. Men conteiiding 
with famine, which spared the rich no more than the poor, 
were no longer sensible to pity, shame, or remorse, and were 
restrained neither by respect for the laws, nor by the fear of' 
punishment. They came at last to devour each other like 
wild beasts. At Cairo, thirty women, in one day, perished 
at the stake, convicted of having killed and eaten their own 
children. The historian Abdallatif relates a crowd of bar^ 
barous and monstrous incidents which make the blood run 
cold with horror, and to which we will not give a place in 
our history, for fear of being accused of calumniating 
human nature. 

The plague soon added its ravages to those of famine. 
Grod alone, says contemporary history, knows the number of 
those that died with famine and disease. The capital of 
Egypt, in the space of a few months, witnessed a hundred 
and eleven thousand funerals. At length it was found im« 
possible to bury the dead, and the terrified survivors were 
obliged to be satisfied with casting them over the ramparts. 
The same mortality was experienced at Damietta, Kous, and 
Alexandria. It was at the period of seed-time that the 
plague was at its height ; they who sowed the seed were not 
the same that had ploughed the ground, and they who sowed 
lived not to reap the harvest. The villages were deserted, 
and reminded travellers of those expressions of the Koran : 
'' JFie have mown them all doum and exterminated them ; one 
cry wcurhe(»rdy and all have perished" The dead bodies that 
floated on the Nile were as numerous as the bulbous plants 
which, at certain seasons, cover the waters of that river. 
One fisherman counted more than four hundred that passed 
before his eyes in a single day ; piles of human bones were 
met with everywhere ; the roads, to borrow the expression 
of Arabian writers, " Were like a field town with dead 
hodieSf and the most populous provinces ioere as a banquet" 
ing-hallfor the birds of prey, ^^ 

Egjpt lost more toan a million of its inhabitants ; both 
famine and plague were felt as &r as Syria, and the Chris- 


tian cities sufiered equallj with those of the Mussulmans. 
From the shores of the Bed Sea to the banks of the 
Euphrates and the Orontes, the whole country- presented 
one picture of desolation and mourning. As if the anger of 
Heaven was not satisfied, it was not long before a third 
calamity, not less terrible, followed in the tx^in of the others. 
A violent earthquake laid waste the cities and provinces that 
famine and plague had spared ;* the shocks resembled the 
motion of a sieve, or that which a bird makes when he raises 
and lowers his wings. The rising of the sea, and the agita- 
tion of the waves presented a horrible appearance ; ships 
were, on a sudden, carried far on to the land, and midtitudes 
of fish covered the shore ; the heights of Libanus opened 
and sank in many places. The people of Syria and Egypt 
believed it to be the earthquake that is to precede the day 
of judgment. Many inhabited places totally disappeared ; 
a vast number of men perished ; the fortresses of Hamath, 
Barin, and Balbec were throwTi down ; the only part of the 
city of Naplouse that was lefb standing was the street of the 
Samaritans ; in Damascus, all the most superb edifices were 
destroyed; in the city of Tyre only a few houses escaped, 
and the ramparts of Ptolemais and Tripoli were nothing out 
heaps of ruins. The shocks were felt with less violence in 
the territory of Jerusalem, and, in the general calamity, both 
Christians and Mussulmans returned thanks to Heaven for 
having spared in its anger the city of prophets and miracles. 
Such awful disasters ought to have caused the treaties made 
between the barons and the infidels to be respected. In the 
fifth crusade, the sovereign pontiff urged the Christians to 
take advantage of these calamitous days to invade the 
Mussidman provinces of Syria and Egypt : but if the advice 
of the pope had been followed, if the Christian army, on 
leaving Venice, had directed its march towards the countries 
devastated by pestilence and famine, it is most probable that 
the conquerors and the conquered woidd have perished to- 
gether. At that period, death, like a formidable sentinel, 
guarded all the frontiers of the Christians and Mussulmans. 
All the scourges of nature became the terrible guardians of 

* The circumstances of this earthquake are related by Abdallatif : the 
Latm hutorians scaroely name this great calamity. 


.proTinoefl, and defended the approaches and entrances of 
cities better than the greatest armies could have done. 

The Christian colonies, however, began, not to repair their 
losses, but to forget the eyils thej had suffered. Amaurj, 
king of Jerusalem, set his barons an example of wisdom and 
pious resignation. The three military orders, that had ex- 
hausted their treasures to support their knights and, soldiers 
during the famine, made a strong appeal, by messengers and 
letters, to the charity of the faithful of the TVest. The 
Christian cities that had been destroyed by the earthquake 
were rebuilt, and the sums amassed by Poulque of NeuiUy, 
the preacher of the last crusade, were employed in restoring 
the walls of Ftolemais. As the Christians wanted labourers, 
they set the Mussulman prisoners to work. Among the pri- 
soners condemned to this Service, history must not pass by 
the celebrated Persian poet Saadi, who had fallen into the 
hands of the Pranks, whilst on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.* 
The author of '*The Ghirden of Boses," and several other 
works, destined at a future day to obtain the admiration of 
the East and the "West, was loaded with irons, led to Tripoli, 
and confounded with the crowd of captives employed in re- 
building the fortifications of that city. 

The truce which had been concluded with the infidels 
still subsisted ; but either pretensions or quarrels daily 
arose that were frequently followed by hostilities. The 
Christians were continually kept under arms, and peace was 
sometimes as abundant in troubles and dangers as an open 
war would have been. There likewise prevailed, at this 
time, great confusion among the Christian colonies, and 
even among the Mussulman powers. The sultan of Damas- 
cus was at peace with the king of Jerusalem, whilst the 
count of Tripoli, the prince of Antioch, with the Templars 
and Hospitallers, were at war with the princes of Hamath, 
Edessa or some emirs of Syria.f Every one, according to his 

* M. Langl^ has AirniBhed us with this valaable incident, which he 
has taken from the Persian biographer Daulet Chah. The biographer 
adds, that a merchant of Aleppo redeemed Saadi, by paying the Christiana 
the sum of ten golden crowns, and he likewise gave the poet another 
hundred as the dowry of his daughter, whom he gave him in marriage. 

t History has great tronble in following the events of this period 
through the cloud of anarchy which reigned everywhere ; and that which 
( the difficnlty is, that the authors of our old chronicles were only 


humour, took up or laid down hifl arms, without an^ power 
being sufficiently strong to enforce respect for treaties. 

No great battles were fought, but constant incursions 
upon the territories of enemies were made ; cities were sur- 
prised, countries were ravaffed, and great booty obtained. 
Amidst these disorders, which were called Dtwg of Truee^ 
the Christians of Palestine had to lament the ^ath of their 
king. Amaury, according to the custom of the faithful, 
went to Caifa, during holy week, to gather palm ; but fell 
sick on his pilgrimage, and returned to Ptolemais to die. 
Thus the sceptre of the kingdom of Jerusalem again re- 
mained in the hands of Isabella, who had neither the power, 
nor the ability necessary to govern the Christian states. 
At the same time, one of the sons of Bohemond, prince of 
Antioch, fell under the daggers of assassins sent by the Old 
Man of the Mountains. Bohemond the Third, at a very 
advanced age, was unable to avenge this murder ; and, in 
addition, before he died, had the mortification of seeing war 
break out between his second son, Baymond, count of 
Tripoli, and Livon, prince of Armenia. The order of ths 
Templars, as well as that of the Hospitallers, interested 
themselves in this quarrel, and were opposed to each other. 
The sultan of Aleppo and the Turks from Asia Minor mixed 
themselves with the dissensions of the Christians, and took 
advantage of their divisions to ravage the territory of An- 
tioch.* The Christian states of Syria received no more 
succours from the West. The remembrance of the evils 
that had ravaged the countries beyond the seas had damped 
the zeal and the ardour of pilgrims ; the warriors of Europe, 
accustomed to face with coolness all the perils of war, had 
not sufficient courage to brave pestilence and famine. A 
great number of the barons and knights of Palestine, them- 
selves abandoned a land too long laid desolate, some to 

acquainted with the kingdom of Jerusalem, and knew nothing of what 
waa going on in the interior of the states. The Arah historians, on the 
eontrarf, take mach more note of the expeditions of the interior than of 
the events that happened at Ptolemais, situated on the seacoast, and in 
some sort isolated from the rest of Syria. 

* We find few details upon this epodi in the continuator of William of 
Tyre, or the other historians of the middle ages who mention the Chriatiaa 


repair to Constantinople, and others to the kingdoms of the 

Innocent, who had up to this time made vain efforts for 
the deliverance of the holy places, and who could not over- 
come his regret at having seen great Christian armies fruit- 
lessly dissipated in the conquest of Greece, still did not 
give up his vast designs ; from the beginning of his reign, 
the sovereign pontiff had pointed out the Holy Land to the 
Christian nations, as the road and the way of salvation. 
After the example of his predecessors, he not only called 
piety and virtue in to the defence of the Christian colonies, 
but remorse and repentance. All who came to him to con- 
fess great sins, were allowed but one means of expiating 
their crimes, — crossing the sea to fight against the infidels. 

Among the sinners condemned to this sort of punishment 
history quotes the names of the murderers of Conrad, bishop 
of Wurtzburg and chancellor of the empire.* The guilty 
having presented themselves before the pope, barefooted, 
in drawers, and with halters round their necks, swore in the 
presence of the cardinals, to pass their lives in the practice 
of the most austere mortifications, and to carry arms during 
four years against the Saracens. A knight, named Eol^rt, 
scanaalized the whole court of Bome by confessing in a loud 
voice, that, being a prisoner in Eg}'pt during the famine, he 
had killed his wife and daughter, to feed upon their fleali. 
The pope imposed the most rigorous penances upon Bobert, 
and ordered him, to complete the expiation of so great a 
crime, to pass three years in visiting the holy places. 

Innocent endeavoured by such means to keep up the 
devotion of pilgrimages, which had given birth to the crusades, 

• Thii penitence and that which follows are mentioned by Fleury, in 
the sixteenth volume of his History ; the guilty were condemned, in addi> 
tion to the pilgrimage, to wear neither vair, grey squirrel fur, ermine, nor 
coloured stuffs ; they were never to be present at public games ; after 
becoming widowers, were never to marry acain ; to walk barefooted and 
be clothed in woollen, and to fast on bread and water on Wednesdays, 
Fridays, Ember-week, and Vigils ; to perform three Lent fasts in the courve 
of the year, to recite the Pater Noster a hundred times, and make a hundred 
genuflexions every day. When they came to a city, they were to go to 
the principal church barefooted, in drawers, with halters round their 
necks and rods in their hands, and there receive from the canons discipline, 
&c. &c. 


and might again revive the zeal and ardour for holy wars. 
According to the opinion which the sovereign pontiff 
sought to spread among the faithful, and bv which he him- 
self appeared penetrated, this corrupt world had no crimes 
for which God would not open the treasures of his mercy 
provided the perpetrators would take the voyage to the 
East. The people however were persuaded that the sins 
and errors of a perverse generation nad irritated the God of 
the Christians, and that the glory of conquering the Holy 
Land was reserved for another and a better age, to a gene- 
ration more worthy of attracting the eyes and the blessings 
of Heaven. 

This opinion of the nations of the West was very little in 
favour of the Christians of Syria, who were daily making 
rapid strides towards their fall. Isabella, who only reigned 
over depopulated cities, died soon afler her huHoand. A 
son that she had had by Amauiy preceded faor to the tomb ; 
and the kingdom of Jerusalem became tlAi heritage of a 
young princess, a daughter of IsabeUa and Conrad, marquis 
of Tyre. ^ The barons and knights that remained in Syria 
were more sensible than ever of the necessity of having at 
their head a prince able to govern them, and immediately 
set about choosing a husband for the young queen of Jeru- 

Their choice might have fallen upon one of themselves ; 
but they feared timt jealousy would g;ive birth to fresh dis- 
cords, and that the spirit of rivalry ana faction would weaken 
the authority of him that should be called upon to govern 
the kingdom. The assembly resolved to seek a king in the 
"West, and to address themselves to the country of Godfrey 
and the Baldwins, — to that nation that had furnished so 
manv heroes to the crusades, so many illustrious defenders 
of the Holy Land. 

This resolution of the barons of Palestine had not only 
the advantage of preserving peace in the kingdom of Jeru- 
salem, but also tnat of arousing the spirit of chivalry in 
Europe, and of interesting it in the cause of the Christians 
of the East. Aimar, lord of CsBsarea, and the bishop of 
Ftolemais, Crossed the sea, and went, in the name of the 
Christians of the Holy Land, to solicit Philip Augustus to 
send them a knight or a baron who might savd the little 

HI8T0BT OP THE CB178A])£8. 193 

tlmt remained of the unforhmate kingdom of Jerasalem. 
The hand of a young queen, a crown, and the blessing of 
Heaven were the rewards held out to the bravery and de- 
votedness of him who was willing to fight for the heritage 
of the Son of God. The deputies were received with great 
honours at the court of the king of Prance. Although 
the crown they offered was nothing but a vain title, it not 
the less dazzled the imagination of the Prench knights ; 
their valorous ambition was seduced by the hope of acquir- 
ing great renown, and restoring the throne that had been 
founded by the bravery of Godfrey of Bouillon. 

Among the knights of his court, Philip greatly distin- 
^ished John of Brienne,* brother of Gauthier,t who died 
in Apulia with the reputation of a hero pr ^ the title of 
king. In his youth, John of Brienne had been destined for 
the ecclesiastical state ; but, brought up in a family of war- 
riors, and less sensible to the channs of piety than to those 
of glory, he refused to obey the will of his parents ; and as 
his father was inclined to employ force to constrain him, he 
sought a refuge against paternal anger in the monastery of 
Citeauz. John of Brienne was mixed with the crowd of 
cenobites, and gave himself up, as they did, to fasting and 
mortification. The austerities of the cloister, however, 
did not at all assimilate with his growing passion for the 
noble occupation of arms ; and of^n, amidst prayers and 
religious ceremonies, the images of tournaments and battles 
woi^d distract his thoughts and disturb his mind. One of 
lus uncles having found him at the door of the monastery 
in a state very little suited to a gentleman, had pity on his 
tears, took him away with him, and encouraged his natural 
inclinations. Prom that time the glory of combats entirely 
occupied his thoughts ; and he who had been destined to 
the silence of cloisters and the peace of altars, was not long 
in creating for himself by his oravery and exploits a great 
and widely spread renown. 

At the period of the last crusade, John of Brienne accom- 
panied his brother in his attempt to obtain the kingdom of 

* Son of Erard II., coant of, Brienne in Champagne, and Agnes 

t The continnator of WiUiam of Tyre relates that the barons of Pales- 
tine thenuelTes demanded John of Brienne of the king of France. 



Naples, and saw him perisli whilst fighting for a throne thab 
was to be the reward of the victor. He had the same for- 
tune to guide his hopes, and the same dangers to encounter, 
if he espoused the heir of the kingdom of Jerusalem. He 
acceptea with joy the hand of a young queen, for the pos- 
session of whose states he must contend with the Saracens ; 
he charged the ambassadors to return and announce his 
speedy arrival in Palestine, and, fuU of confidence in the 
cause he was about to defend, promised to follow them at 
the head of an armv. 

"When Aymar of Csesarea and the bishop of Ptolemais 
returned to the Holy Land, the promises of John of Brienne 
raised the depressed courage of the Christians, and, as it 
often happens in seasons of misfortune, they passed firom 
despair to the most extravagant hopes. 

It was given out in Palestine that a crusade was in pre- 
paration, commanded by the most powerful monarchs of the 
West ; and the report of such an extraordinary armament 
produced a momentary terror among the infidels. Malek- 
Adel, who, since the death of Al-Aziz, reigned over Syria 
and Egypt, dreaded the enterprises of the Christians ; and 
as the tNice made with the Franks was on the point of ex- 
piring, he proposed to renew it, ofifering to deliver up ten 
castles or fortresses as a pledge of his good faith and his 
desire for a continuation of peace. This proposal ought to 
have been welcomed by the Christians of Palestine ; but the 
hopes of assistance firom the West had banished all mode- 
ration and foresight from the councils of the barons and 
knights. The wiser part of the Christian warriors, among 
whom was the grand master of the order of St. John, were 
of opinion that the truce should be prolonged. They re- 
minded their companions that they had often oeen promised 
succour from the West, without this succour ever having 
reached the Holy Land ; and that in the very last crusade, 
a formidable army, confidently expected in Palestine, had 
directed its march towards Constantinople. They added, 
that it was not prudeut to risk the chances of war upon the 
faith of a vain promise ; and that they ought to wait the 
event, before they formed a determination upon which might 
depend the safety or the ruin of the Christians of the Ealst. 
These di courses were full of wisdom and good Benae, but 


M the Hospitallers spoke in &yoiir of the truce, the Tem- 
plars, with great warmth, declared for war : such was, like- 
wise, the spirit of the Christian warriors, that prudence, 
moderation, or, indeed, any of the virtues of peace, inspired 
them with a sort of disdain ; for them reason was always 
on the side of perils, and only to speak of flying to arms 
was quite sufficient to win all their suffirages. The assembly 
of barons and knights refused to prolong the truce made 
with the Saracens. 

This determination became so much the more fatal, frx)m 
the situation of France and Europe, which could scarcely 
allow John of Brienne to entertain the hope of accomplish- 
ing his promise of raisinff an army for the Holy Land. 

Germany was still agitated by the rival pretensions of 
Otho and Philip of Swabia: John of England laboured 
nnder the curse of an excommunication, which interdict 
extended to his kingdom. Philip Augustus was busily cm- 
ployed in taking advantage of all the troubles that were in 
full action around him ; on one side by endeavouring to ex- 
tend his influence in Germany, and on the other by constant 
efforts to weaken the power of the English, who were mas- 
ters of several provinces of his kingdom. John of Brienne 
arrived at Ptolemais with the train of a king, but he only 
brought with him three hundred knights to defend his king- 
dom ; his new subjects, however, still full of hopes, looked 
upon him no less as a liberator. His marriage was cele- 
brated in the presence of the barons, the princes, and the 
bishops of Ptolemais. As the truce was about to expire, 
the Saracens resumed their arms, and disturbed the festivi- 
ties of the coronation. Malek-Adel entered Palestine at 
the head of an army, and the infidels not only laid siege to 
Tripoli, but threatened Ptolemais. 

The new king, at the head of a small number of faithful 
warriors, created great admiration for his valour in the field 
of battle; but he was not able to deliver the Christian pro- 
vinces from the presence of a formidable enemy, when 
the defenders of Palestine compared their scanty ranks 
with the multitude of their enemies, they sank at once into 
a state of despondency; and even those who so lately 
scorned the thoughts of peace with the infidels, could not 
muster either strength or courage to oppose to their attacks. 


Most of the French knights that had accompanied the new 
king, quitted the kingdom they had come to succour, and 
returned into Europe. The dominions of John of Brienne 
consisted of the city of Ptolemais alone, and he had no 
army to defend even that ; he then began to perceive he had 
undertaken a perilous and difficult task, and that he should 
not be able to contend for any length of time against the 
united forces of the Saracens. Ambassadors were sent to 
Home to inform the pope of the pressing dangers of the 
Christian states in Asia, and once more to implore the sup- 
port of the princes of Europe, and, above all, of the French 

These jBresh cries of alarm were scarcely heard .by the 
nations of the West. The troubles which agitated Europe 
at the period of the departure of John of Bnenne for Pales- 
tine were far from being allayed, and prevented France 
especially from lending any assistance to the Christian colo- 
nies. Languedoc and most of the southern provinces of the 
kingdom were then desolated by religious wars, which fully 
employed the bravery of the French knights and nobles. 

A spirit of inquiry and indocility, which had arisen among 
the faithful, and with which St. Bernard had reproached his 
age, was making alarming progress every day. The most 
holy doctors had already many times expressed their grief 
at the abasement of the holy word, of which every one con- 
stituted himself judge and arbiter, and which was treated, 
said Stephen of Toumay in his letters to the pope, with as 
little discernment as holy things given to dogi, or pearls cast 
at the feet of swine. This spirit of independence and pride, 
joined to the love of paradox and novelly ; to the dechne of 
sound studies, and the relaxation of ecclesiastical discipline ; 
had given birth to heresies which rent the bosom of the 

The most dangerous of all the new sects was that of the 
Albigeois,* which took its name from the city of Albi, in 
which its first assemblies had been held. These new sec- 
tarians being imable to explain the existence of evil under a 
just and good Qod, as the Manicheans had done, adopted 
two principles. According to their belief, God had first 

* Ab Gibbon has done, I have preferred the real name of thia sect to 
the Latinized .^/%«}ueff.— Trans. 


created Lucifer and his angelfi; Lucifer haying revolted 
from God, was banished from heaven, and produced the 
visible world, over which he reigned. God, to re-establish 
order, created his second son, Jesus Christ, to be the genius 
of good, as Lucifer had been the genius of evil. Several 
contemporary writers represent the Albigeois in the most 
odious colours, and describe them as given up to all kinds of 
error ; but this opinion must not be adopted in all its rigour 
by impartial history. For the honour of human nature we 
feel bound to say, that never did a religious sect dare to 
endeavour to win the approbation of mankind whilst pre- 
senting an example of clepravity of morals ; and that in no 
age, among no people, has a false doctrine ever been able to 
lead astray any number of men, without being supported by 
at least an appearance of virtue. 

The wisest and most earnest Christians were at that 
period desirous of a reform in the clergy. " But there 
were," says Bossuet, " vain and proud minds,* ftdl of bitter- 
ness, which, struck by the disorders > that reigned in the 
Church, and more particularly among its ministers, did not 
believe that the promises of its eternal duration could 
possibly subsist amongst these abuses. These, become 
proud, and thence weak, yielded to the temptation which 
leads to a hatred of the Church from a hatred of those who 
preside in it ; and as if the malice of man could annihilate 
the work of God, the aversion they had conceived for the 
teachers, made them hate at the same time both the doctrine 
they taught and the authority they had received from God.** 

This dusposition of men's minds gave the apostles of error 
a most deplorable ascendancy, and multiplied the number of 
their disciples. Among the new Bcctarians, the most remark- 
able were the Vaudois^ or Poor of Z^ons, who devoted them- 
selves to a state of idle poverty, and despised the clergy, 
whom they accused of living in luKur^ and voluptuousness \ 
the Apostoliques, who boasted of bemg the only mystical 
body of Jesus Christ ; the JPopelicains, who abnorred the 
eucharist, marriages, and the other sacraments ; the Aymer- 
iitesy whose teachers announced to the world the mture 

* Bossaet, HiHoire deg Variai. toI. ii. L'Abbe Paqaet, in his 2Xe- 
tionnaire det H^Aieii and Fleury, in hia RUtwrtBeeJnMtiqm^ expreu 
the aame opinion. 


eBtablisliinent of a purely spiritual worabip, and denied &b' 
existence of a hell or a paradise, persuaded that sin finds in 
itself its own punishment, and virtue its own reward. 

As the greater part of these heretics exhibited a sovereign 
contempt for the authority of the Church, which was then 
the first of all Kuthorities, all those who wished to shake off 
the yoke of divine laws, and those even to whom their pas- 
sions rendered the restraint of human laws intolerable, came 
at length to range themselves under the banners of these 
innovators, and were welcomed by a sect anxious to increase 
and strengthen itself, and always disposed to consider as its 
partisans and defenders, men whom society cast from its 
bosom, who dreaded justice, and could not endure established 
order. Thus the pretended reformers of the thirteenth 
century, whilst themselves affecting austerity of manners, 
and proclaiming the triumph of virtue and truth, admitted 
into their bosom both corruption and licentiousness, de- 
stroyed every reffulation of authority, abandoned everything 
to the caprice of the passions, and left no bond to society, 
no power to morals, no check upon the multitude. 

The new heresies had been condemned in several councils ; " 
but as violence was sometimes employed in executing the 
decisions of the Church, persecution onlv tended to soup 
men's minds, instead of brmging them back to truth. Mis- 
sionaries and papal legates were sent into Lanraedoc, to 
convert the misled wanderers from the flock; but their 
preaching produced no fruit, and the voice of falsehood 
prevailed over the word of God. The preachers of the faith, 
whom the heretics reproached with their luxury, their igno- 
rance, and the depravity of their manners, had neither 
sufficient resignation nor sufficient humility to support such 
outrages, or offer them as a sacrifice to Jesus Christ, whose 
apostles they were. Exposed to the scoffs of the sectarians, 
and gathering nothing m>m the labours of their missions but 
humdiation and contempt, they accustomed themselves to 
view the people they were sent to convert as personal ene- 
mies ; and a spirit of vengeance and pride, which certainly 
came not from heaven, made them beheve it was their duty 
to bring into the right rcMid, by force of arms, all who had 
denied their power or resisted their eloquence. The sove- 
reign pontiff^ whose mind was constantly bent upon the 


Asiatic war, besitated at ordering a crusade to be preacbed 
against tbe Albigeois ; but be was led away bj tbe opinions 
of the clergy, perhaps also by that of his age, and at last 
promised to all Christians who would take up arms against 
the Albigeois the same privileges as those granted to the 
Crusaders against tbe Saracens.* Simon de Montfort, the 

* Notwithstandiog the partiality I naturally feel for an author whose 
work I am translating, and to which task I was led by my admiration of 
it, I cannot allow such opinions of the war against the Albigeois to pass 
unnoticed. A very sensible French historian says : — '* The inhabitants 
of these provinces were industrious, intellectual, and addicted to com- 
merce, the arts, and poetry ; their numerous cities flourished, governed 
by consuls with forms approaching to republican ; all at once this beauti- 
ful region was abandoneid to the 'furies of fanaticism, its cities were ruined, 
its arts and its commerce destroyed, and its language cast back into bar- 
barism. Tlie preaching of the first religious reform gave birth to the 
devastation of these rid^ countries. The clergy were not distinguished 
there, as in France or tbe northern provinces, by their ardour to improve 
themselves and diffuse knowledge ; they signalized themselves by gross 
disorders, and sank daily into greater contempt. The need of reform 
bad been long felt among the people of Provence and many reformers 
had already appeared. For a length of time associations had existed whose 
aim it was to purify tbe morals and the doctrines of the Church ; such 
were the Paterins, the Catbarins, and the Poor of Lyons ; and the greater 
part of these had obtained the sanction of the popes, who considered them 
as so many orders of monks, highly calculated to awaken public devotion. 
But the reforms that were operated extended gradually ; dogmas even were 
attacked, ^priests were subjected to tbe insults of the people, and the 
domains or the Church were invaded. Such was the state of things when 
the famous Innocent III., at the age of thirty -nine, ascended the pontifical 
throne in 1198. To his great task he brought the talents of an ambitious, 
and the energy of a violent and an inflexible character. This pontiff, who 
dominated over Europe by indulgences and excommunications, watched 
for and punished with severity every free exercise of thought in religioui 
matters ; he was the fir^t to feel how serious and threatening for the 
Church of Rome that liberty of mind must be that had already degenerated 
into revolt. He saw with great inquietude and anger the new tendency 
of men's minds in Provence and Languedoc, and'proscribed tbe reformers, 
the most numerous of whom, and who gave their name to all the others, 
were known under the names of Albigeois and Vaodois. Some among 
them were Manicbeans, that is to say, admitted the two principles; bti 
the greateit number of them pro/etned doctrines differing but very little 
from those whtchi three centuries later ^ were preached by Luther, They 
denied transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Eucharist, rejected con- 
fession, and tbe sacraments of confirmation and marriage, and taxed tbe 
worship of images with idolatry." In this war papacy put forth all its 
most dreaded powers; indulgences to its brutal, mercenary soldiers; 
heaven for wholesale slaughterers of their fellow-creatures ; heU for all 


duke of Burgundy, and the duke of Nerers obeyed tbe ordeTS 
of the Holy See : the hatred which this new sect inspired, 
but still more the facility of gaining indulgences from the 
sovereign pontiff without quitting Europe, drew a great 
number of warriors to the standajSs of this crusade. The 
Inquisition owes its birth to this war ; an institution at once 
fatal to humanity, religion, and patriotism. Piles and stakes 
appeared on all sides , cities were taken by storm, and their 
inhabitants put to the sword. The violences and cruelties 
which accompanied this unfortunate war have been described 
by those even who took a most active part in them ;* their 
recitals, which we have great} difficulty in believing, fre- 
quently resemble the language of falsehood and exaggera- 
tion. In periods of vertigo and fury, when violent passions 
come in to mislead both opinions and consciences, it is not 
rare to meet with men who exaggerate the excesses to which 

who dared to think when they worshipped, or to hreatbe a word against 
tbe ▼eriest nonsense of Romish rites : many instances occurred in which 
the odious doctrine of no faiih to be observed with heretics ^ was unblush- 
iDgly advanced and cruelly acted upon. I will close my notice of this 
war against men who ventured to entertain a shade of difference in opinion 
from their fellow -Christians and the head of the Church, by a quotation 
that vividly stamps its character. *' The Crusaders precipitated them- 
•elves in a mass upon the lands of the young viscount de Beziers, took 
his castles and burnt all the men, violated the women and massacred the 
children they found in them ; then, turning towards Briers, they carried 
it by assault. A prodigious number of the inhabitants of tbe circumjacent 
country had taken refuge in this city ; the abbot of Citeaux, legate of the 
pope, upon being consulted by the knights as to the fate of these unhappy 
beings, a part of whom only were heretics, replied by these execrable and 
ever-memorable words : * Kill away ! kill away I God will take care ^ 
hit own I* " The crusade against the Albigeois is one of the blackest 
pages in the history of mankind, and ought to be described as sndi by 
every historian whose disagreeable duty it is to name it. — Trans. 

* The abbot of Vaux-de-Cemai, who signalized himself in the crusade 
against the Albigeois, has left us a history of this period, in which he 
relates with an air of triumph, facts which passed before his eyes, at whidi 
religion as well as humanity ought to blush. When we have read his 
account, we are persuaded of two things : the first, that he was sincere in 
the excess of his fanatical zeal; the second, that his age thought as he did, 
and did not disapprove of the violences and persecutions of which he so 
candidly exposes the history. Le P^ Langlois, a Jesuit, has written, in 
French, a history of the crusades against the Albigeois. The Hietoire 
BeeUtiasHpie of Fleury, and VHiitoire de Us Province de Lanffuedoe, 
may be consulted with advantage. 


they have given themaelTea up, and boast of more eyil tlian 
they have committed. 

'^OT ourselves, the disastrous war against the Albigeoia 
does not enter into the plan of this history, and if we have 
spoken of it here, it was only the better to describe the 
situation of France at this period, and the obstacles which 
then opposed themselves to all enterprises beyond sea. 
Amidst these constantly increasing obstacles. Innocent III. 
was deeply afflicted at not being able to send succours to 
the Christians of Palestine, his regret being the &;reater 
from the circumstance that at the very time the Albigeoia 
and the count of Thoulouse were subjected to this fri^tful 
crusade, the Saracens were becoming more formidable in 
Spain. The king of Castile, threatened by an innumerable 
army, had just called upon all Erenchmen able to bear arms 
to come to his assistance. The pope himself had written to 
all the bishops of France, recommending them to exhort the 
faithful of their dioceses to assist in a great battle which was 
to be fought between the Spaniards and the Moors, about 
the octave of Pentecost (1212). Innocent promised the 
warriors who would repair to Spain, the usual indulgences of 
holy wars ; and a solemn procession was made at Some, to 
implore of God the destruction of the Moors and Saracens. 
The archbishops of Na]>bonne and Bordeaux, the bishop of 
Nantes, and a great number of French nobles, crossed the 
Pyrenees, followed by two thousand knights with their 
squires and serjeants-at-arms. The Christian army met the 
Moors in the plains of Las Navas de Tolosa, and fought a 
battle, in which more than two hundred thousand infidels lost 
either their lives or their liberty. The conquerors, loaded 
with spoils and surrounded by the dead, sang the Te Deum 
on the field of battle : the standard of the leader of the 
Almoades was sent to Eome as a trophy of the victory 
granted to the prayers of the Christian Church. 

On learning the issue of the battle of Tolosa, the sovereign 
pontiff, amidst the assembled inhabitants of Borne, offered 
up thanks to God for having scattered the enemies of his 
people ; and at the same time prayed that Heaven in its 
mercy would, in the end, deliver the Christians of Syria as 
it had just delivered the Christians of Spain. 

The head of the Church renewed his exhortations to the 


fiuthful for tlie defence of the kingdom of Jesiu Christ ; but 
amidst the troubles and civil wars that he himself had ex- 
cited, he could gain no attention to the complaints of Jem- 
aalem, and shed tears of despair at the indifference of the 
nations of the West. About this period such a drcumstanoe 
was beheld as had never occurred even in times so abound- 
ing in prodigies and extraordinary events. Fifty thousand 
children, in France and Germany, braving paternal authority, 
gathered together and pervaded both cities and countries, 
singing these words : — '' Lord Jesus, restore to us your holy 
cross!" When they were asked whither they were going, 
or what they intended to do, they replied, ** We are going 
to Jerusalem, to deliver the sepulchre of our Saviour." 
Some ecclesiastics, blinded by false zeal, had preached this 
crusade; most of the fiuthful saw nothing m it but the 
inspiration of Heaven, and thought that Jesus Christ, to 
show his divine power, and to confound the pride of the 
ereatest captains, and of the wise and powerful of the earth, 
had placed nis cause in the hands of simple and timid infancy, 
]^ny women of bad character, and aishonest men insinu- 
ated themselves amongst the crowd of these new soldiers of 
the cross, to seduce and plunder them. A great portion of 
this juvenile militia crossed the Alps, to embark at the Italian 

Sorts ; whilst those who came from the provinces of France, 
irected their course to Marseilles. On the fiuth of a 
miraculous revelation, they had been made to believe that 
this year (1213) the drought would be so great that the 
Bim would dissipate all the waters of the sea, and thus an 
easy road for pilgrims would be opened across the bed of 
the Mediterranean to the coasts of Syria. Many of these 
youne Crusaders lost themselves in forests, then so abundant 
and krge, and wandering about at hazard, perished with 
heat, hunger, thirst, and fatigue ; others returned to their 
homes, ashamed of their imprudence, saying, they really did 
not know why they had gone. Among those that embarked, 
some were shipwrecked, or given up to the Saracens, against 
whom they haa set out to fight ; many, say the old chro- 
nicles, gathered the palms of martyrdom, and offered the 
infidels the edifying spectacle of the firmness and courage 
the Christian religion is capable of inspiring at the most 
tender age as well as at the more mature. 


StLcli of these cbildren as reached PtolemfOB must hare 
created terror as well as astonishment, by making the Chris- 
tians of the East believe that Europe had no longer any 
government or laws, no longer any wise or prudent men, 
either in the councils of pnnces or those or the Church. 
. Nothing more completely demonstrates the spirit of these 
times than the indifference with which such oisorders were 
witnessed. No authority interfered, either to stop or pre- 
vent the madness ; and when it was announced to the pope 
that death had swept away the flower of the youth of France 
and Germany, he contented himself with saying, — " These 
children reproach us with having fallen asleep, whilst they 
were flying to the assistance of the Holy Land." • 

The sovereign pontiff, in order to accomplish his designs, 
and rekindle the enthusiasm of the faithful, found it neces- 
sary to strike the imagination of the nations vividly, and to 
present a grand spectacle to the Christian world. Innocent 
resolved to assemble a general council at Bome, to deli^rate 
upon the state of the Church and the fate of the Christians 
01 the East. "The necessi^ for succouring the Holy 
Land," said he in his letters of convocation, " and the hope 
of conquering the Saracens, are greater than ever ; we renew 
our cries and our prayers to you, to excite you to this noble 
enten)rise. No one can imagine," added Innocent, " that 
God has need of your arms to deliver Jerusalem ; but he 
offers you an opportunity of showing your penitence, and 
proving your love for him. Oh, my brethren, how many 
advantages has not the Christian Church already derived 
from, the scourges that have desolated her, and desolate her 
still ! How many crimes have been expiated by repentance I 
How many virtues revive at the fire of charitv f How many 
conversions are made among sinners by tne complaining 
voice of Jerusalem ! Bless, then, the ingenious mercy, the 
generous artifice of Jesus Christ, who seeks to touch your 
hearts, to seduce your piety, and is willing to owe to his misled 
disciples a victory which he holds in his all-powerful hand."t 

* This crusade of the children is related by so great a namber of con- 
temporary authors, tliat we cannot entertain any doubt of it. We will 
refer to our Appendix the different versions of the ancient chronicles of 
this singular event. 

t Vetus est hoc artifidnm Jesus Christ!, quod ad suomm lalutem 
fideUum diehns istis dignatas est innovare. — Epiit, Innocent. 


The pope afterwards compares Jesus Christ banished from 
his henta^, to one of the kings of the earth who might be 
driven from his dominions. "Where are the vaasals," 
added he, " who will not risk their fortunes and their lives 
Uf restore their sovereign to his kingdom ? Such of the 
Bubiects and servants of the monarch as shall have done 
nothing for his cause, ought thej not to be ranked with the 
rebels, and be subjected to the punishment due to revolt and 
treason P It is thus that Jesus Christ will treat those who 
remain indifferent to the insults heaped upon him, and refuse 
to take up arms to fight against his enemies/' 

To raise the hopes and the courage of the Christians, the 
holy father terminated his exhortation to the faithful, by 
saying, that *' the power of Mahomet drew towards its end ; 
for that power was nothing but the beast of the Apocalypse, 
which was not to extend beyond the number of six hunitred 
years,* and already six centtiries were accomplished." These 
last words of the pope were sustained by the popular pre- 
dictions which were spread throughout the West, and 
created a belief that the destruction of the Saracens was at 

As in preceding crusades, the sovereign pontiff promised 
all w^ho should take arms against the infidels, the remission 
of their sins and the especial protection of the Church. 
Upon so important an occasion, the head of the Christians 
laid open the treasures of divine mercjr to all the fia,ithful, in 
proportion to their zeal and their gifts. All prelates and 
ecclesiastics, as well as the inhabitauts of cities and coun- 
tries, were invited to raise a certain number of warriors, and 
support them for three years, according to their means. The 
pope exhorted princes and nobles who would not take the 
cross, to second the zeal of the Crusaders in every way in 
their power; the head of the Church demanded of all the 
faithful, prayers ; of the rich, alms and tributes ; of knights, 
an example of courage ; of maritime cities, vessels ; he him- 
self engaging to make the greatest sacrifices. Processions 

♦ The year 1263 answered to the year 602 of the Hegyra. 

t Montesquieu foretells the fate of Mahometanism ; not as Innocent 
did, hut philosophically. He likewise predicts ** that France will fall hy 
the sword ;" but whether the sword will be drawn by foreigners or her 
own sons, he does not say. — ^Trans. 


were to be made everj month in all panBhes, in order to 
obtain the benedictions of Heaven ; all the efforts, all the 
TOWS, all the thoughts of Christians were to be directed 
towards the object of the holy war. That nothing might 
divert the faithiul from the expedition against the Saracens, 
the H0I7 See revoked the indulgences granted to those who 
abandoned their homes to ffo and fight against theAlbi- 
geois in Languedoc, or the Moors on the oQier side of^the 

It is plain that the sovereign pontiff neglected nothing 
that could render the success of the holy enterprise more 
certain. A modem historian justly remarks, that he em- 
ployed every means, even such as were not likely to suc- 
ceed ; for he wrote to the sultan of Damascus and Cairo, 
inviting him to replace the holy city in the hands of the 
servants of the true God. Innocent said in his letter, that 
Qod had chosen the infidels as his instruments of vengeance; 
that he had permitted Saladin to get possession of Jerusalem, 
in order to punish the sins of the Christians ; but that the 
day of deliverance was come, and that the Lord, disarmed 
by the prayers of his people, was about to restore the heritage 
of Jesus Christ. The sovereign pontiff counselled the sultan 
to avoid the efinision of blood, and prevent the desolation of. 
his empire. 

This was not the first time that the head of the Church 
had addressed prayers and warnings to the Mussulman 
powers. Two years before he had written to the sultan of 
Aleppo, in the hope of bringing him back to the way of 
evangelical truth, and making him a faithful auxiliary of the 
Christians. All these attempts, which ended in nothing, 
clearly prove that the pope was perfectly imacquainted witn 
the spint and character of the Mussuhnans. The sovereign 
pontiff was not more fortunate when, in his letters, he &- 
sired the patriarch of Jerusalem to use his utmost endea- 
vours to arrest the progress of corruption and licentiousness 
among the Christians of Palestine. The Christians of Syria 
made no change in their morals, and aU the passions main- 
tained their reign amount them; whilst the Mussulmans 
fortified the holy city uiat was demanded of them, and 
employed themselves in arming against the attacks of the 
enemies of Islamism. 


Nothing could exceed the ardour and activity of the BOfve- 
leign pontiff. Histoiy can scarcely follow him, whilst seek* 
ing in every direction enemies against the Mussulmans; 
appealing, by turns, to the patriarchs of Alexandria and An- 
tioch, and to all the princes of Armenia and Syria. His 
eye took in at one view both East and West. His letters 
and ambassadors passed unceasingly throughout Europe. 
He sent the convocation for the council and the bull of the 
crusade into all the provinces of Christendom; and his 
apostolic exhortations resounded from the shores of the 
Danube and the Vistula to the banks of the Tigris and the 

Commissaries were chosen to make the decisions of the 
Holy See known to all Christians : their mission was to 
preach the holy war, and reform manners ; to invoke at the 
same time the knowledge of the learned and the courage of 
warriors. In many provinces, the mission of preaching the 
crusade was confided to the bishops ; Cardinal Peter Robert 
de Cour9on, who was then in France, as legate of the pope, 
received great powers from the Holy See ; and travelled 
through the kingdom, exhorting Christians to take up the 
cross and arms. 

The cardinal de Courcon had been in his youth the dis- 
ciple of Foulke of Neuilly, and had gained great celebrity 
by his eloquence. The multitude flodced from all parts to 
hear so distinguished a preacher of the Word, clothed in all 
the splendour of Eomish power. ** The legate," says Fleury, 
** had the power of regulating everything that was connected 
with tournaments ; and, which will appear more singular, 
the faculty of granting a certain indulgence to those who 
were present at the sermons in which he preached the cru- 

* OSbbon tays : ** Some deep reasonen have aiupected that the whola 
eaterpnae. from the first lynod at Placeotia, was contrived and executed 
by the policy of Rome. The aospicion is not founded either in matter or 
fact. The successors of St. Peter appear to have followtd, rather than 
guided the impulse of manners and prejudice." With great respect for 
our iUustrious historian, I cannot quite sgree with him ; the popes were in 
many in sta n ces jthe first to kindle the flame, and were always anxious to 
keep it burning! In the part of our history now before us, it is plain it 
would have gone out but for the great exertions of Innocent. The 
crusades were a powerful engine in the hands of the pop«a | they could 
not affoid to let them go to decay.— Taaws. 


pade." raithfal to the spirit of the religion of Jems Christ, 
the cardioftl de €01119011 gave the cross to all Christiana 
vho asked for it, without reflecting that women, children, 
old men, the deaf, the blind, the lame, could not make war 
against the Saracens ; or that an army could not be formed 
as the Gospel composed the feast of the father of the family. 
Thus this liberty of entering into the holy bands, accorded 
without distinction or choice, onlv disgusted the barons and 
knights, and cooled the ardour of the common soldiers.* 

Among the orators whom the pope associated with the 
cardinal de Courfon, one of the most remarkable was James 
of Vitri, whom the Church had already placed in the rank 
of its celebrated doctors. Whilst he preached the crusade 
in the different provinces of France,t the feme of his virtues 
and talents extended even to the East. The canons of 
Ptolemais demanded him of the pope as their pastor and 
bishop ; and the the wishes of the Christians of Palestine 
were immediately granted. James of Vitri, after having 
excited the warriors of the West to take arms, became 
afterwards a witness of their laboiurs, and related them in a 
history which has come down to our times. 

The preaching of the holy war awakened everywhere the 
eharity of the feithful. thilip Augustus gave up the 
fortieth part of his territorial revenues towards the expenses 
of the crusade, and a great number of nobles and prelates 
followed his example.f As boxes had been placed in all 

♦ Tlie cardinal de Couryon wa« an Engliahman by fanfily. He had 
atudied at the Uoivcrsity of Paris, and from that was connected with 
Lothaire, who became pope under the name of Innocent III. It ista 
this friendship that Peter Robert de Cour^on owed his elevation. Ther© 
is a very long notice of this person by the late M. du Theil, in Lh Noiien 
det ManuteriiM, torn. vi. ,.. ,. ., »i * 

t The continuator of WUliam of Tyre expresses himself Uius :— 11 ot 

Toyast pour estre ^vesque d'Acre ; et sachiex s'il n'en east le commande- 
ment I'apostolle, il ne I'enst mie re9U, mats toutes voies passa-t-il ontre- 
»er, et fust ^yesque grand piece, et ^t mult de biens en la terre ; mais 
mis lesigna-t-il, et retouma en France, et puis fat il cardinal de Kome« 
As M. Michaud has placed this note all in the text, and has only given 
t to show the cnrions mode of expression, I have followed his example. 
t PhiUp granted this fortieth, without referanoe to Hm fotur e m b § pie 



churches to receive the alms of the charitable, these almd 
brought considerable sums into the hands of the cardinal 
de Courcon, who was accused of having appropriated to 
himself toe gifts offered to Jesus Christ. These accusations 
were the more eagerly received, from the legate having taken 
upon him to exercise, in the name of the Holy See, an 
authority which was displeasing to both the monarch and 
his people. The cardinal, without the approbation of the 
king, levied taxes, enrolled warriors, forgave debts, lavished 
both rewards and punishments, and, in a word, usurped all 
the prerogatives of sovereignly. The exercise of such an 
unbounded power was the cause of trouble to all the pro- 
vinces.* To prevent disorders, Philip Augustus thought it 
necessary to lay down regulations which should lei^cifjr to 
the general council, the individual position of the Crusaders, 
and the exemptions and privileges they were to enjoy. 

Whilst the cardinal de Cour^on continued to preach the 
crusade throughout the provinces of France, the archbishop 
of Canterbury was earnestly engaged in inciting the people 
of England to take up arms against the infidels. Durine a 
length of time, the kmgdom of England had been troubled 
by the violent contentions of the commons, the barons, and 
even the clergy, who had taken advantage of the exoom- 
municationsf hiunched by the pope against King John, to 

€OUtuHudin€f and upon condition that this volantary gift shonld be 
employed wherever the king of England and the barons of the two king* 
doms should think best. — See Le Ree. de» Ord, torn. i. p. 31. 

* In the royal regulations of Philip Augustus, there is an order relative 
to the debts contracted by the Crusaders as members of a commune. We 
think our readers will not be displeased by the particulars of this order. 
'* As to the Crusaders, members of certain communes, we order/' says the 
king, ** that if the commune itself be charged with any levy, whether for 
foot or horse soldiers (I'ost et la chevauch^e), the inclosure of the city, 
the defence of the city in the event of a siege, or for any debt that is 
due, and contracted beifbre they took the cross, tbey shall be held subject 
to the payment of their proportion, equally with the other inhabitants who 
have not taken the cross ; but as to the debts contracted after the period 
at which they shall have taken the cross, the Crusaders shall remain 
eiempt, not only until their approaching departure, but until their 
return." — See the Recueil det Ordormancei, Dachefy^ and the sath vol. 
of the Notiett det Manuteritt, diaertation d» M, du Tkeil wr Robert 
de Qnayon, 

t In the charter granted by King John, that monardi expraiily atji 


obtain a confinnation of tbeir liberties. The English mo- 
narch, when subscribing the conditions that had been dictated 
to him, had yielded much more to necessity and force, than 
to his own inclinations ; he wished earnestly to retract what 
he had granted, and in order to place his crown under the 
protection of the Church, he took the cross, and swore to go 
and fight against the Saracens. The sovereign pontiff placed 
faith in the submission and promises of the king of England ; 
and after havinc; preached a crusade against this prince, 
whom he accused of being an enemy of the Church, ne em- 
ployed the whole authority of the Holy See, and all the 
thunders of religion in his defence. 

King John had no other motive in taking the cross but to 
deceive the pope, and obtain the protection of the Church ; 
the sign of the Crusaders was assumed by him only as a 
means of preserving his power ; a false and deceitful policy, 
which was soon unmasked, and, without doubt, assisted 
much in diminishing the public enthusiasm for the holy war. 
The barons of England, in their turn excommunicated by 
the pope, employed themselves in defending their liberties, 
and paid no attention to the holy orators who called upon 
them to embark for Asia. 

The empire of Germany was not less disturbed than the 
kingdom of England. Otho of Saxony, after having been, 
dunng ten years, the object of all the predilections of the 
Holy See, drew upon hinfself all at once the implacable 
hatred of Innocent, by putting forth some claims to certain 
domains of the Church, and to the kingdom of Naples and 
Sicily. Not only was he himself excommunicated, but the 
cities even that remained faithful to him were placed under 
an interdict. The sovereign pontiff opposed Frederick II., 
son of Henry VI., to Otho, in the same manner as he had 
opposed Otho to Philip of Swabia. Germany and Italy 
were immediately in a state of agitation and trouble. 
Frederick, who was crowned king of the Bomans at Aix la 
Chapelle, took the cross, from a sentiment of gratitude, and 
with the hope of securing the support of the Holy See in 
ascending the imperial throne. 

Otho meanwhile neglected no means of preserving the 

that he grurts Uqs charter by the advice ef the arohbiflhop of Canterbury, 
of leveii bishops, and the pope's nnncio. 

Vol. II.— 10 


empire, and resisting the views and undertakings of the 
court of Home. He made war against the pope, and allied 
himself with all the enemies of Philip Augustus, who had 
declared for Prederick. A formidable league, composed of 
the king of England and thfe counts of Flanders, Holland, 
and Boulogne, threatened France with an invasion. The 
capital and provinces of that kingdom were alreadjr shared 
among the leaders of this league, when Philip gained the 
celebrated battle of Bouvines. This memorable victory* 
secured the independence and honour of the French mo- 
narchy, and restored peace to Europe. Otho, conquered, 
lost his allies, and sunk beneath the thunders of the 

The period was now arrived at which the council sum- 
moned by the pone was to meet. From all parts of Europe, 
ecclesiastics, nobles, princes, and the ambassadors of princes, 
repaired to the capital of the Christian world. The deputies 
from Antioch ancf Alexandria, with the patriarchs of Con- 
stantinople and Jerusalem, came to Eome to implore the 
support of the nations of Christendom ; the ambassadors of 
Frederick, Philip Augustus, and the kings of England and 
Hungary, in the names of their sovereigns, came to take 
their places in the council. This assembly, whi<?h repre- 
sented the universal Church, and in whidi were nearly five 
hundred bishops and archbishops, and more than a hundred 
abbots and prelates from all the provinces of the East and 
"West, took place in the church of the Lateran,t and was 
presided over by the sovereign pontiff. Innocent opened 
the council by a sermon, in which he deplored the errors of 
his age and the misfortunes of the Church. After having 
exhorted the clergy and the faithful, to sanctify by their 
morals, the measures he was about to take against heretics 
and the Saracens, he represented Jerusalem as clothed in 

* TbU yictoryof BoaTines, which had such happy resolts for the French 
monarchy, will be worthily celebrated in the poem of PAiiip Aufftute, by 
M. Perceval de Grand-maison : we cannot sufficiently praiM our poets 
who take their subjects from the greatest periods of our annals. 

t Upon the holding of this council, the Chronicle of Opaberg, tho 
monk Godfrey, Matthew Paris, Albert Stadensis, the Chronicle of Fassano, 
and particularly the collection of the couocils, may be consulted. Fleury 
enters into very copious detaila.^See the sixteenth vol. of the Hiiinrt 


mouming, exhibiting the chains of her captivitj, and calling 
upon all the prophets to lend their voices to reach the hearts 
of the Christians. 

" Oh! ye," said Jerusalem by the mouth of the pontiff, "who 
pass along the public roads, behold, and see if ye have ever 
witnessed grief like mine. Hasten then all, O ye that love 
me, to deliver me from the depth of mv miseries ! I, who 
was the queen of all nations, am now subjected to a tribute ; 
I, who was formerly filled with people, am now left deso- 
late and almost alone ! The roads of Sion mourn, because 
no one comes to my solemnities. My enemies have crushed 
down my head ; all my sacred places are profaned ; the Holy 
Sepulchre, once so splendid, is covered with disgrace ; there, 
where of late the Son of God was adored, worship is now 
offered up to the son of perdition and hell. The children 
of the stranger load me with outrages, and, pointing to the 
cross of Jesus, say to me. Thou hut placed thy trust in vile 
wood ; we shall see whether this wood can save thee in the 
hour of danger. ^^* 

Innocent after having thus made the mourning Jerusalem 
eloquent, conjured the faithful to take pity on her misfor- 
tunes, and arm for her deliverance. He terminated his ex- 
hortation by these words, which breathe both his grief and 
his ardent zeal : — " My beloved brethren, I give myself up 
entirely to you ; if you think it best, I promise to go in 
person with the kings, princes, and nations ; you shall see if, 
by my cries and my prayers, I shall be able to excite them 
to fight for the Lord, to avenge the insults of the crucified, 
whom our sins have banished from the land wetted with his 
blood, and sanctified with the mystery of our redemption." 

The discourse of the pontifi' was listened to in religious 
silence; but as Innocent spoke of several objects at the 
same time, and as his oratory was full of allegoties, he did not 
at all succeed in awakening the enthusiasm of the assembly. 
The fathers of the council appeared to be not less affected 
by the abuses introduced into the Church, than by the re- 
verses of the Christians of the East ; in the first place the 
assembly employed itself in endeavouring to find means to 

* The discourse of the pope is preseired in its entirety in the ooliection 
oT the ooaaoUi.— e«e tiia fourth Coaacfl of the Lateraa. 


reform ecclesiastical discipline, and check the progress of 

In a declaration of faith, the council explained the doc- 
trine of Christians, and recalled to their minds the sym- 
bol of evangelical belief. They opposed truth to error, 
persuasion to violence, and the virtues of the G-ospel to the 
passions of sectarians and innovators : happy would it then 
have been for the Christian church, if the pope had followed 
this example of moderation ; and if, whilst defending the 
rights of religion, he had not forgotten the rights of sove- 
reigns and humanity. By an apostolic decree, proclaimed 
amidst the council, Innocent deposed the count of Thou- 
louse, who was considered the protector of heresy, and gave 
his states to Simon de Montfort, who had fought again^, or 
rather slaughtered the Albigeois. 

Innocent could not pardon the count of Thoulouse for 
having provoked a war which had agitated Christendom, and 
suspended the execution of his designs for the Eastern cru- 
sade. The violent policy of the ^sovereign pontiff aimed at 
striking terror into all heretics, and encouraging Christians 
to arm for the cause of Jesus Christ and that of his vicar 
upon earth. 

After having condemned the new errors, and pronounced 
the anathemas of the Church against all who strayed from 
the way of the. faith, the pontiff and the fathers of the 
council gave their attention to the Christians of the East, 
and the means of promptly succouring the Holy Land. All 
the dispositions expressed in the bull of convocation were 
confirmed ; it was decreed that all ecclesiastics should pay 
the twentieth of their revenues towards the expenses of the 
crusade ; that the pope and the cardinals should pay the 
tenth of theirs, ana that there should be a truce of four 
years among all Christian princes. The council launched 
the thunders of excommunication against all princes that 
should molest the march of pilgrims, and against all that 
should furnish infidels with provisions or arms : the sove- 
reign pontiff promised to dii'ect the preparations for the 
war, to contribute three thousand silver marks, and to sup- 
ply, at his own expense, several vessels for the transport of 
the Crusaders. 

The decisions of the council and the speeches of the pop^ 


made a profound impresBion upon the minds of the western 
Christians. All the preachers of the holy war were formally 
directed to recall the faithful to a sense of penitence, and 
to prohibit dances, tournaments, and public sports ; to re- 
form morals and to revive in all hearts the love of religion 
and virtue. They were commanded, after the example of 
the sovereign pontiff, to make the complaints of Jerusalem 
resound in the palaces of princes ; and to earnestly solicit 
monarchs and nobles to assume the cross, so that the people 
might be induced to do so likewise. 

The decrees concerning the holy wars were published in all 
the churches of the "West ; in several provinces, particularly 
in the north of Europe, the prodigies and miraculous appa- 
ritions that had excited enthusiasm at the period of the ^nt 
crusades, again became common ; luminous crosses appeared 
in the heavens, and made the inhabitants of Cologne and 
the cities in the vicinity of the Ehine believe that God 
favoured the holy enterprise, and that the divine power pro- 
mised the defeat and rum of the infidels to the arms of the 

The orators redoubled their ardour and zeal to engage 
the faithful to take a part in the holy war. From the 
pulpits imprecations were poured forth against the Saracens, 
always accompanied by a repetition of the words of Christ : 
" I am come to establish war." The eloquence of prelat^es, 
bishops, and pastors had no other aim than summoning all 
Christian warriors to arms. The voices of preachers were 
not the only trumpet-calls ; poetry herself, who had but re- 
cently revived in the southern provinces of France, chose 
the holy expeditions as the themes of her songs ; and the 
profane muse of the troubadours mingled their notes with 
the animated words of the sacred orators. The Pierres 
d'Auvergne, the Ponces de Capdeuil, the Folquets de 
Eomano, ceased to sing the love of ladies and the courtesy 
of knights, to celebrate in their verses, the sufferings of 
Clirist and the captivity of Jerusalem. " The times are 
come," said they, " in which it will be seen who are the men 
worthy of serving the Eternal. God now calls upon the 
valiant and chivalrous ; they shall be his soldiers for ever, 
who, knowing how to suffer for their faith, and fight for God, 
shall prove themselves frank, generous, loyal, and brave ; let 


the base lovers of life or seekers for gold remain behind ; 
Grod now only calls upon the good and brave. It is his will 
that his faithful ^servants should secure salvation bv noble 
feats of arms ; and that glory obtained in fight should open 
to them the gates of heaven."* 

One of the minstrels of the holy war celebrates in his 
verses the seal, the prudence, and courage of the head of the 
Church; and to induce the faithful to assume the cross, 
sings : *' We have a sure and valorous guide, the sovereign 
fontiff Innocent^ 

It then began to be hoped that the father of the Chris- 
tians would himself lead the Crusaders, and sanctify the 
Asiatic expedition by his presence. The pope, in the coun- 
cil of the Lateran, had expressed a desure to assume the 
cross, and to go in person to take possession of the heritage 
of Christ ; but the state of Europe, the progress of heresy, 
and, doubtless, also, the advice of the bishops and cardinals, 
prevented the accomplishment of his design. 

As germs of dissension still subsisted between several 
European states, these discords might be prejudicial to the 
success of the holy war ; and the pope sent forth emissaries 
to act as angels of peace ; he himself repairing to Tuscany, 
to appease the quarrels that had broken out between the 
Pisans and Genoese. His words soothed down all angry 
passions ; at his voice the most implacable enemies swore to 
forget their disputes, and unite to combat against the Sara- 
cens. His most ardent wishes appeared about to be fulfilled, 
and the whole West, obedient to his sovereign will, was 
ready to precipitate itself upon Asia, when he fell suddenly 
ill, and died, leaving to his successors the care and honour 
of finishing so great an enterprise. 

Like all men who have exercised great power amidst poli- 
tical tempests, Innocent, after his death, was, by turns, 
praised and blamed with all the exaggeration of love and 
hatred. Some said he had been summoned to the heavenly 
Jerusalem, as God wished to reward his zeal for the deliver- 
ance of the holy places ; whilst others had recourse to mira- 

* M. Raynourd, who has made profound resrarches into the language 
and poetry of the troubadoore, communicated to us this piece of Pierre of 
AuTergne, with several others whidi appear to us of great interest, and 
which we will insert in our Appendix. 


eulouB apparitions, and made saints speak in condemnation 
of his memory ; sometimes he was seen pursued by a dragon, 
whose pui*pose was to inflict justice upon him; and at 
others he appeared surrounded by the flames of purgatory. 
Europe had oeen in a constant state of trou'ble during his 
pontificate ; there was scarcely a kingdom upon which the 
wrath of the pontiff had not been poured out ; and so many 
excesses, so many misfortunes had embittered men^s minds, 
that it was natural they should take a pleasure in believing 
that the vicar of Christ upon earth was expiating in another 
life the crimes of this. Innocent, nevertheless was irre- 

§ reachable in his manners ; ^t first he had evinced some 
egree of moderation ; he loved truth and justice ; but the 
unhappy condition of the Church, the obstacles of all kinds 
which ne met with in his spiritual * government, irritated 
his character, and drove him to the excesses of a violent 
policy ; at length, preserving no propriety or self-command, 
he burst forth with the ever-memorable and reprehensible 
words : " Swardy stoord, spring from the 9cahhard, and gharpen 
ihvself to kiU"f As he had undertaken far too much, he 
len; serious embarrassments to those who might assume the 
reins of power after him ; and such was the situation in 
which his policy had placed the Holy See, that his succes- 
sors were obliged to follow up his maxims-, and complete both 
the good and the evil he had begun. From this period, the 
history of the crusades will be incessantly interrupted by 
the quarrels of popes and princes, and we shall follow the 
j)ilgnms to the Holy Land amidst the clashing of the thun- 
ders launched by the various heads of the Church. 

Censius Savelli, cardinal of St. Lucia^ was chosen by the 
conclave to succeed Innocent, and governed the Church 
under the name of Honorius III. On the day after his 

* In a dissertation upon the cardinal de Coar9on, M. du Tbeil has 
undertaken to make the apology of Innocent III. We have the greatest 
respect for this savant; hut he evinces too strong an inclination to justify 
Innocent in all respects; and an application of the common proverhi 
** He who proves too much proves nothing^** is quite in place here. 

t Innocent pronounced these words against Louis, the son of Philip 
Augustus, whom he had induced to make war against tbe king of England ; 
and whom he afterwards wished to excommunicate, because this prinoo 
persisted in continuing a war begun by the commands and advice of the 
Holy See. 


coronation, the new pope nn^te to the king of Jerusalem, to 
announce his elevation, and to revive the hopes of the Chiis- 
tians of Syria. " Let not the death of Innocent," said he, 
" depress your courage ; although I am far from being his 
eaual in merit, I will show the same zeal for the deliverance 
of the Holy Land ; and when the season shall arrive, will do 
everything in my power to assist you." A pontifical letter, 
addressed to all bishops, exhorted them to continue to 
preach the crusade. 

In order to secure success to the Oriental expedition. 
Innocent had first endeavoured to re-establish peace in 
Europe; and certainly the 'necessity in which the popes 
found themselves at such times, to promote concord among 
nations, was one of the greatest benefits of the holy wars. 
Honorius followed the example of his predecessor, and was 
desirous of calming all discords, even such as owed their 
origin to the pretensions of the Eomish see. Louis VIII., 
son of Philip Augustus, at the solicitation of the pontifi[^ had 
taken arms against England, and was not willing to renounce 
the project of invading a kingdom so long subjected to the 
anger of the Church. The pope even stooped to supplica- 
tions to disarm the redouotable enemy of the kmg of 
England. He hoped that England and France, after having 
suspended their hostilities, would unite their efibrts for the 
dehverance of the holy places ; but these hopes were never 
accomplished. Henry III. ascended the throne of England 
after the death of John, and took the cross to secure the 
favour of the sovereign pontiff; but he had no idea of 
quitting his kingdom. The king of France, constantly 
occupied with the war against the Albigeois, and perhaps 
also with the secret designs of his ambition, satisfied himself 
with expressing the greatest respect for the authority of the 
Holy See, but took no part in the crusade.* 

* I have observed more than once, that our author ia so absorbed in 
the history he has undertaken, that he is somewhat loose in his remarks 
upon that of the nations nearest to him . 1 1 was not likely that Henry III., 
a boy of nine years old, should take the cross, or that the prudent Pem- 
broke and bis other counsellors would allow the forces of an unsettled 
kingdom to be wasted upon such a scheme. The king of France again, 
who he says was constantly occupied in the war against the Albigeois, 
had absolutely nothing to do with that war. The southern provinces 
subjected to this calamity were fiefs of the crown of Axagon, and did not 


Most of the bishops and prelates of tbe kingdom, whom 
the sovereign pontiff had entreated to present an example of 
devotedness, exhibited much greater eagerness and zeal on 
this occasion than the barons and knights ; manj of them 
took the cross, and prepared to set out for the East. Frede- 
rick, who owed the miperial crown to the protection of the 
Cliurch, renewed, in two solemn assemblies, his oath to make 
war against the Saracens. The example and promises of 
the emperor, whatever doubt might be entertained of their 
sincerity, had a powerful effect over the princes and people 
of Germany. The inhabitants of the banks of the lihine, 
those of Fnesland, Bavaria, Saxony, and Norway ^ the dukes 
of Austria, Moravia, Brabant, and Lemburg ; the counts of 
Juliers, Holland, De Wit, and Loo ; with the archbishop of 
Mayence and the bishops of Bamberg, Passau, Strasburg, 
. Munster, and Utrecht, emulatively ranged themselves under 
the banners of the cross, and prepared to quit the West. 

Among the princes who took the oath to fight against the 
Mussulmans, was Andrew II., king of Hungary. Bela, the 
father of the Hungarian monarch, had made a vow to go to 
the Holy Land ; but not having been able to undertake the 
pilgrimage, he had, on his death-bed, required his son to 
accomplish his oath. Andrew, afler having taken the cross, 
was for a lon^ time detained in his states by the troubles to 
which his ambition had given birth, and which he had great 
difficulty in suppressing. Gertrude, whom he had married 
before the fifth crusade, made enemies of the whole court 
and nobility by her pride and her intrigues. This imperious 
princess* committed such extraordinary insults against the 
magnates of the kingdom, and inspired them with so violent 
a hatred, that they formed conspiracies against her life, and 

belong at that time to France in any way. Whilst these wan were raging, 
Philip was pradently extending his dominions to the north and north-east. 
— ^Tkans. 

• Boniinius, the historian of Hungary, wjb that Gertmde gave np the 
wife of Banc, the chancellor of the kingdom, to the criminal desires of 
her brother. He adds that Banc killed tbe queen to avenge this injury ; 
but this assertion is contradicted by all historians. The same author 
■ays that the wife of Andrew was assassinated during his voyage to the 
Holy Land ; but this assertion is as false as the first. Gertrude was 
assassinated on the 18th of September, 1213.~See Palma, NotUia Rer, 
Htmg. U i. 



introduced murderers eyen into her palace. Disorders and 
misfortunes without number followed these crimes, the 
greatest of which, doubtless, was the impunity of the guHtj. 

In such circumstances policy would oertainly haye pointed 
it out to the king of Hungary, as his duty, to remain in his 
oym. states ; but the spectacle of so many unpunished crimes, 
without doubt, alarmed his wealcness, and strengthened his 
desire of getting at a distance from a court filled with his 
enemies. Like his mother, the widow of Bela,* he expected 
to find in the places consecrated by the sufferings of Christ, 
an asylum agamst the griefs which beset his life ; the Hun- 
garian monarch might likewise think that the holy pilgrimage 
would make him more respected by his subjects, and that 
the Church, ever armed in lavour of royal crusaders, would 
defend the rights of his crown better than he himself could. 
He resolved at length to perform the vow he had made, 
before his dying father, and earnestly set about preparations 
for his departure for Syria. 

Andrew then reigned over a vast kingdom, — Hungary, 
Dalmatia, Croatia, Bosnia, Galicia, and the province of 
Lodomira obeyed his laws, and paid him tnbute; and 
throug:hout all these provinces, so lately enemies to the 
Christians, the crusades were preached. Hordes wandering 
amidst forests, listened to the complaints of Sion, and swore 
to fight against the infidels. Among the nations of Hun- 
gary, who, a century before, had been the terror of the pil- 
grim companions of Peter the Hermit, a crowd of warriors 
eagerly took the cross, and promised to follow their monarch 
to the Holy Land. 

Vessels and fleets for the transport of the Crusaders were 
equipped in all the ports of the Baltic, the ocean, and the 
Mcaiterranean ; and yet, at the very same time, a crusade 
was being preached against the inhabitants of Prussia, who 
still remained in the darkness of idolatry. Poland, Saxony, 
Korway, and Livonia armed their warriors to overthrow the 
idols of paganism on the banks of the Oder and the Vistula, 
whilst the other nations of the "West were preparing to make 
war against the Saracens in the plains of Judroa and Syria. 

The still savage people of Prussia, separated by their 

* Margaerite, qaeeo of Hangarj, let out for Phlestim after the dmXh 
of Bela, her husband. — See the niath book of this History. 


religion and their customs from the other inhabitants of 
Europe, presented in the centre of Christendom, in the 
thirteenth century, a living picture of ancient paganism, and 
of the superstitions of the old nations of the North. Their 
character and their manners are worthy of iixing the atten- 
tion of both the historian and his readers, fatigued, perhaps, 
by the constant repetition of the preaching of holy wars, 
and the distant expeditions of the Crusaders. 

Much discussion has taken place concerning the origin of 
the ancient inhabitants of Prussia, and we have nothing on 
this head but conjectures and systems. The Prussians were, 
in person, like the Gennans;* blue eyes, a spirited and 
lively look, ruddy cheeks, a lofly stature, a robust form, and 
light hair : this resemblance to the Germans was produced 
by climate, and not by the mixture of the nations ; the inha- 
bitants of Prussia had more affinity with the Lithuanians, 
whose language they spoke, and whom they imitated in their 
dress. They lived by the chase, fishing, and the flesh of 
their flocks; agriculture was not unknown to them; their 
mares furnished them with milk, their sheep with wool, their 
bees with honey ; in commercial transactions they had very 
little to do with money : to prepare flax and leather, to split 
stones, to sharpen their arms, and to fashion yellow amber, 
constituted the whole of their industry. They marked time 
hj knots tied in thongs, and the hours by the words twilight^ 
Itffht, daum^ sunrise, evening, the first sleep, &c. The 
appearance of the Pleiades durected them in their labours. 

The months of the year bore the names of the productions 
of the earth, and of the objects presented to their eyes by 

* The Chronicle of Peter Darburg, a priest of the Teutonic order, may 
be consulted on the manners and religion of the ancient Prnssians. This 
chronicle, whoM pai^ose is to describe the conquests of the Teutonio 
knights, contains seTeral historical dissertations, which appear to us to 
have great merit ; the most curious are, Diuerimiio de Diu Veterum 
Pru»9orum ; Dittertatio de Saeerdoiilnu Veterum Prusnorutn ; Dittertatio 
de CuiiuDeorum, de Nuptiit^ de Funeributt de Loci* Divino Culiui dicatis, 
&c. &c. A Latin dissertation, De Moribug Tartarorum, lAthuanormm, 
ei Motehorumt may likewise be consulted. This work contains curiooa 
details upon the worship and manners of Lithuania and Samogitia, which 
bore a strong resemblance to the worship and manners of the Prussians. 
M. Kotzbue, in his history of the Teutonic knights, has thrown great 
Ii<$hc upon the origin of the legislation, and the customs and religion "of 
I lie ancient inhabitants of Prussia. 


each season ; they knew the month of crows, the month of 
pigeons, that of cuckoos, of the green birch-trees, of the 
finden-trees, of cpm, of the departure of the birds, of the 
fall of leaves, &c. Wars, the conflagrations of great forests, 
hurricanes, and inundations, formed the principal epochs of 
their history. 

The people dwelt in huts built of earth, the rich in houses 
constructed of oak timber ; there was not a city in Prussia. 
Some strong castles appeared upon the hills. This nation, 
though savage, recogmsed princes and nobles ; he who had 
conquered enemies, and he who excelled in taming horses, 
attained nobility. The lords held the right of life and death 
over their vassals ; the Prussians made no wars for the pur- 
pose of conquering an enemy's coimtry, but solely to defend 
their homes and their &;ods. Their arms consisted of the 
lance and the javelin, which they handled with much skill. 
The warriors named their chief, who was blessed by the high 
priest ; before going to battle, the Prussians selected one of 
their prisoners of war, fastened him to a tree, and transfixed 
him "with arrows.* They believed in omens ; the eagle, the 
white pigeon, the crow, the stork, the bustard, promised 
victory ; the stag, the wolf, the lynx, the mouse, the sight of 
a sick person, or even of an old woman, announced defeats 
or reverses ; when presenting their hand, they offered peace ; 
when swearing to treaties, they placed one hand upon their 
breast and the other upon the sacred oak. When victorious, 
they tried their prisoners of war, and the most distinguished 
among them expired at the stake, — a sacrifice to the gods of 
the country. 

Amidst all their barbarous customs, the Prussians had 
the reputation of respecting the laws of hospitality. The 
stranger and the shipwrecked mariner were sure to find an 
asylum and succour among them ; intrepid in war, simple 
and mild in peace, grateful but vindictive, respecting misror- 

* A letter from Pope Honorius to the archbishop of Maience, says that 
there is in Prussia a nation of barbarians, of whom it is said that they kill 
all the girls but one bom of each mother; that they prostitute their 
daughters and wiTes, immolate captives to their gods, and bathe their 
•words and lances in the blood of these victims, to bring them success in 
battle. — See Raynal, 1218. We refer our readers to our Appendix, for 
■ome detaiL^ upon the manners of the Prussians. 


tunc, tliey had more virtues than vices, and were onlr 
comipted bj the excess of their superstition. 

The Prussians believed in another life ; thej called hell, 
IPeckla ; chains, thick darkness, and fetid waters constituted 
the punishment of*the wicked. In the Elysian fields, which 
they called Bopu9, beautiful women, banquets, delicious 
drink, dances, soft couches, and fine clothes were the rewards 
of virtue. 

In a place called Remove^ arose a flourishing oak, which 
had witnessed the passage of a hundred generations, whose 
colossal trunk contained three images of their principal gods ; 
the foliage daily dripped with the blood of immolatea victims; 
there the high priest had established his abode, and there 
administered justice. The priests alone ventured to approach 
this holy place ; the guilty slunk from it trembling. Per' 
kunas, the god of thunder and fire, was the first among the 
deities of the Prussians ; he had the countenance of an 
angry man, his beard was curled, and his head was siuroimded 
with flames. The people called claps of thunder, the march 
or steps of Perkunas. iN'ear the grove of Eemove, on the 
banks of a 8ulphiu*eous spring, an eternal fire burned in 
honour of the god of thunder. 

Near Perkunas, Foirimptu appeared, in the form of a 
young man, wearing a crown of wheat-cars ; he was adored 
as the god of waters and rivers ; he preserved mankind 
from the scourge of war, and presided over the pleasures of 
peace. By a strange contradiction, they offered up to this 
pacific divinity, the blood of animals, and that of the captives 
slaughtered at the foot of the oak ; sometimes children were 
sacrificed to him ; the priests consecrated the serpent to him, 
as eymbplical of fortime. 

Beneath the shade of the sacred tree, was still another 
idol, called Fi/collos, the god of the dead ; he bore the form 
of an old man, with grey hair, hollow eyes, and a pale coun- 
tenance, his head enfolded in a shroud ; his altars were heaps 
of human bones ; the infernal deities were obedient to his 
laws ; he inspired both grief and terror. 

A fourth divinity, Curko, whose image ornamented the 
branches of the oak of Eemove, furnished mankind with the 
necessaries of life. Every year, at autumnal seed-time, his 
image was renewed ; it consisted of a goat-skin, elevated 


upon a pole eigbt feet high, crowned with blades of com ; 
the priest sacrSced upon a stone, honey, milk, and the fruits 
of the earth, whilst the youth of both' sexes formed a circle 
round the idol. 

The Prussians celebrated several other festivals during 
ppring and summer, in honour of the same god ; at the 
spring festival, which took place on the 22Dd of March, 
they addressed Curko in these words : " It is thou who hast 
chased away winter, and brought fair and fine days back to 
us ; by thee the gardens and the fields rebloom ; by thee 
the forests and the woods resume their verdure." The in- 
habitants of Prussia had a crowd of other gods, whom they 
invoked for their fiocks, their bees, the forests, the waters, 
harvest, commerce, the peace of fiunilies, and conjugal hap- 
piness ; a divinity with a hundred eyes watched over the 
threshold of houses ; one god guarded the yard, another the 
stable ; the hunter heard the spirit of the forest howl amidst 
the tree-tops ; the mariner recommended himself to the god 
of the sea. Laimele was invoked by women in labour, and 
spun the fives of mankind. Tutelary divinities arrested the 
progress of conflagrations, caused the sap of the birch-trees 
to flow, guarded roads, and awakened workmen and labourers 
before the dawn of day. The air, the earth, the waters were 
peopled bv gnomes or little gods, and with ghosts and 
goblins, which they called arvant. It was believed by all 
that the oak was a tree dear to the gods, and that its shade 
oifered an asylum a^inst the violeuce of men or the assaults 
of destiny. In addition to the oak of Bemov^, the Prussians 
had several other trees of the same kind, which they con- 
sidered the sanctuaries of their divinities. They consecrated 
also linden-trees, firs, maples, and even whole forests ; they 
held in reverence fountains, lakes, and mountains ; they 
adored serpents, owls, storks, and other animals : in short, 
in the countries inhabited by the Prussians, all nature was 
filled with divinities, and, up to the fourteenth century, it 
might be said of a European nation, as Bossuet saioi of 
ancient paganism, " Everything there was god^ except God 

A long time before the crusades, St.. Adalbert had left his 
native countiy, Bohemia, to penetrate into the forests of 
Prussia, and endeavour to convert the Prussians to Chris- 


tianity ; but his eloquence, his moderation, or bis cbarify, 
could not disarm the fury of tbe priests of Perkunas. 
Adalbert died, pierced with arrows, and received the palm 
of martyrdom; other missionaries shared the same fate; 
their blood arose against their murderers, and the report of 
their death, together with an account of the cruelties of a ' 
barbarous people, everywhere cried aloud upon the Christians 
of the North for vengeance. The neighbouring nations 
were constantly entertaining the resolution to take arms 
against the idolaters of PrusHia. An abbot of the monastery 
of Oliva, more able, and still further, more fortunate than 
his predecessors, undertook the conversion of the pagans of 
the Oder and the Vistula, and succeeded, with the assistance 
of the Holy See, in getting up a crusade against the wor- 
shippers of fals6 gods ; a great number of Christians took 
the cross, at the summons of the pope, who promised them 
eternal life if they fell in fight, and lands and treasures if 
they triumphed over the enemies of Christ. The knights of 
Christ and the knights of the sword, instituted to subdue 
the pagans of Livonia, with the Teutonic knights, who in^ 
Palestine rivalled in power and glory the two other orders 
of the Temple and the Hospital, at the first signal flocked to 
the standards of the army assembled to invade Prussia, and 
convert its inhabitants : this war lasted more than two cen- 
turies. In this sanguinary struggle, if the Christian religion 
sometimes inspired its combatants with its virtues, the leaders 
of this long crusade were much more frequently influenced 
by vengeance, ambition, and avarice. The knights of the 
Teutonic order, whose bravery almost always amounted to 
heroism, remained masters of the country conquered by their 
arms. These victorious monks never edified the people they 
subdued, either by their moderation or their charity ; and 
were often accused before the tribunal of the head of the 
Church, of having converted the Prussians, not to make them 
servants of Christ, but to increase the number of their o\N'n 
subjects aijd slaves. 

We have only spoken of the» people of Prussia, and of the 
wars made against them, to exhibit to our readers a nation 
and customs almost unknown to modem scholars even ; and 
to show how far ambition and a thirst of conquest was able 
to abuse the spirit of the crusades : we hasten to return to 


tbe expedition that was being prepared against the 

Germany considered Frederick II. as the leader of the 
war about to be made in Asia ; but the new emperor, seated 
on a throne for a long time shaken by civil wars, dreading 
the enterprises of the Italian republics, and perhaps those 
of the popes their protectors, thought it prudent to defer 
his departure for Palestine. 

The zeal of the Crusaders, however, did not abate, and in 
their impatience they turned their eyes towards the king of 
Hungary to take the command in the holy war. Andrew, 
accompanied by the duke of Bavaria, the duke of Austria^ 
and the Grerman nobles who had taken the cross, set out for 
the East, at the head of a numerous army, and repaired to 
Spalatro, where Vessels from Venice, Zara, Ahcona, and other 
cities of the Adriatic, awaited the Crusaders, to transport 
them into Palestine. 

In all the countries through which he marched, the king 
of Hungary was followed hj the benedictions of the people. 
When he approached the city of Spalatro, the inhabitants 
and the clergy came out in procession to meet him, and con- 
ducted him to their principal church, where all the faithful 
were assembled to call down the mercy of Heaven upon the 
Christian warriors. A few days after, the fleet of the Cru- 
saders left the port* of Spalatro, and set sail for the island 
of Cyprus, at which place were met the deputies of the king 
and the patriarch of Jerusalem, of the orders of the Temple 
$ and St. John, and of the Teutonic knights. 

A crowd of Crusaders, who had embarked at Brindisi, at 
Cknoa, and at Marseilles, preceded the king of Hungary and 
his army. Lusignan, king of Cyprus, and the greater part 
of his barons, influenced by the example of so many illus- 
trious princes, took the cross, and promised to follow them 
into the Holy Land. All the Crusaders embarked together 
at the port of Lemisso, and landed in triumph at Ptolemais. 

* Le Pere Maimbourg and most historians make the king of Hangary 
embark at Venice ^ but they are Mnacquainted with the Chronicle of 
Thomas, deacon of Spalatro, who furnishes the fullest details of the passage 
of Andrew II. into the Holy Land, and his return to his dominions. This 
Chronicle, it is true, contains many doubtful things concerning the crusade, 
and the kingdom of Hungary on the return of Andrew ; but it is quite 
wt-rthy of confidence in all that passed at Spalatro. 

niBTOBT OF THE CSir8iJ>£8. 225 

An Arabian historian says, that since the time of Saladin 
the Christians had never had so numerous an army in Syria.* 
Thanks to Heaven were offered up in all the churches, for 
the powerful aid it had sent to the Holy Land ; but the joy 
of the Christians of Palestine was auickly troubled by the 
serious difficulty in which they founa themselves to procure 
provisions for such a multitude of pilgrims. 

This year (1217) had been barren throughout the richest 
countries of Syria ;t and the vessels from the West had 
only been laden with machines of war, arms, and baggage. 
Deficiency of food was soon felt among the Crusaders, and 
led the soldiers to license and robbery ; the Bavarians com- 
mitted the greatest disorders; pillaging houses and monas- 
teries, and devastating the neighoounng country ; the leaders 
had no other means of reestablishing order and peace in the 
arm/, but by giving the signal for war against the Saracens ; 
and, to save the lands and dwellings of the Christians, they 
proposed to their soldiers to ravage the cities and territories 
of the infidels. 

The whole army, con^manded by the kinss of Jerusalem, 
Cyprus, and Hungaij, encamped on the banks of the torrent 
of Cison. The patriarch of the holy city, in order to strike 
the imagination of the Crusaders, and prevent their for- 
getting the object of their enterprise, repaired to the camp, 
bringing with him a portion of the wood of the true cross, 
which he pretended to have been saved at the battle of 
Tiberias. The kings and princes came out, barefooted, to 
meet him, and received with respect the sign of redemption. 
This ceremony rekindled the zeal and enthusiasm of the 
Crusaders, whose ardent desire now was to fight for Christ. 

* '*Tfai^ year/' 614 of the Hegyra, says the continnatorof Tabary, ** the 
Franks received sacooun by sea from Rome the great, and other countries 
of the Franks, bQth west and north. It was the chief of Rome, a prelate 
much revered among the Christians, who directed them ; he sent troops 
from his own country under various commanders, and he ordered the other 
Frank kings either to march in person or send their troops." 

t A letter from the master of the soldiers of the Temple, addressed to 
Honorius III., enters into several details respecting the situation of the 
Holy Land at this period. This letter speaks of the scarcity experienced 
in Syria ; the master of the Templars adds, that they could procure no 
horses. *' ForXhis reason,*' said he to the pope, "exhort all who have 
taken the cross, or intend to take it, to ramish themselves with such 
things as they cannot procure here." 


The army crossed the torrent, and advanced towards the 
valley of Jesrael, between Mount Hermon and Mount 
Qelboe, without meeting an enemy. The leaders and sol- 
diers bathed in the Jordan, and passed over the plain of 
Jericho, and along the shores of the great lake of G«nesareth. ' 
The Christian army marched singing spiritual songs ; religion 
and its remembrances had restored discipline and peace 
among them. Every obje€t and place they beheld around 
them filled them with a pious veneration for the Holy Land. 
In this campaign, which was a true pilgrimage, they made a 
great number of prisoners without fighting a battle, and re- 
turned to Ptolemais loaded with booty. 

At the period of this crusade, Malek-Adel no longer 
reigned over either Syria or Egypt. After having mounted 
the throne of Saladin by injustice and violence, he had de- 
scended from it voluntarily ; the conqueror of all obstacles, 
and having no longer a wish to form, he became sensible of 
the emptiness of human grandeur, and gave up the reins of 
an empire that nobody had the power to dispute with him. 
Melik Elamel, the eldest of his sons, was sultan of Cairo ; 
and Corradin* was sultan of Damascus. His other sons 
had received, as their shares of the empire, the principalities 
of Bosra, Baalbec, Mesopotamia, &c. Malek-Adel, relieved 
from the cares of government, visited his children by turns, 
and preserved peace among them. All he had reserved of 
his past power was the ascendancy of a great renown, and 
of a glory acquired by numberless heroic exploits ; but this 
ascendancy held princes, people, and army in subjection. In 
moments of peril, his counsels became laws : the soldiers 
still considered him as their leader ; his sons as their sove- 
reign arbiter; and all Mussulmans as their defender and 

The new crusade had spread terror among the infidels, 
but Malek-Adel calmed their fears by assuring them that the 
Christians would soon be divided amongst themselves, and 
by telling them that this formidnble expedition resembled 
the storms which howl over Mount Libanus, and which dis- 
perse of themselves : neither the armies of Egypt, nor the 
armies of Syria, made their appearance in Judtea ; and the 

* This prince was named Cheref-Eddin Melik Moaddhan. 


Crosaden assembled at PtolemaSs were astonished at meet- 
ing no enemy to contend with. The leaders of the Christian 
army had resolved to direct their march towards the banks 
of the ^ile ; but winter, which was about to commence, 
would not permit them to imdertake so distant an enter* 
prise. , To employ the soldiers, whom idleness always seduced 
into license, it was determined to make an attack upon 
Mount Tabor, where the Mussulmans had fortified them- 

Mount Tabor, so celebrated in the Old and New Testa- 
ment, arises like a superb dome amidst the vast plain of 
Galilee. The declivity of the mountain is covered with 
floM'ers and odoriferous plants ; from the summit of Tabor, 
which forms a level of a league in extent, may be seen, tra- 
vellers say, all the banks of the Jordan, the Lake of Tiberias, 
the Sea of Syria, and most of the places in which Christ 
performed his miracles. 

A church, the erection of which was due to the piety of 
St. Helena, stood on the very spot where the transfiguration 
of Christ took' place in presence of his disciples, and for a 
length of time attracted crowds of pilgrims. Two monas- 
teries, built at the summit of Tabor, recalled for centuries 
the memory of Moses and Elias, whose names they bore ; but, 
from the reign of Saladin, the standard of Mahomet had 
floated over this holy mountain ; the church of St. Helena 
and the monasteries of Moses and Elias had been demolished, 
and upon their ruins was raised a fortress, from which 
the Mussulmans constantly threatened the territories of 

It was impossible to ascend Mount Tabor without en- 
countering a thousand dangers ; but nothing intimidated 
the Christian warriors: the pahiarch of Jerusalem, who 
marched at their head, showed them the true cross, and 
animated them by his example and his eloquent words. 
Enormous stones rolled from the heights occupied by the 
infidels, who poured down an endless shower of javelins and 
arrows upon all the roads which led to the top of the moun- 
tain. The valour of the soldiers of the cross braved all the 
efforts of the Saracens ; the king of Jerusalem distinguished 
himself by prodigies of bravery, and killed two emirs with 
his own liand. G^ie summit of the mountain being attained. 


the Crusaders dispersed the Mussulmans, and pursued them 
to the gates of their fortress: nothing could resist their 
arms. But all at once several of tfie leaders began to enter- 
tain suspicions regarding the intentions of the sultan of 
Damascus; and the fear of a surprise acted the more 
strongly on their minds &om no one having foreseen it. 
"Whilst the Mussulmans retired filled with terror behind 
their ramparts, a sudden panic seized the conquerors : the 
Crusaders renounced the attack of the fortress, and the 
whole Christian army retreated without effecting anvthmg; 
as if it had only ascended Mount Tabor to contemplate the 
spot rendered sacred by the transfiguration of the Saviour. 

We could scarcely yield faith to the account of this pre- 
cipitate flight, without the evidence of contemporary histo- 
rians;* the ancient chronicles, according to their custom, 
do not fail to attribute to treachery an event they cannot 
comprehend ; it appears to us, however, much more natural 
to suppose that the retreat of the Crusaders was produced 
by the discord and want of foresight which prevailed in all 
their undertakings. t 

This retreat had most fatal results ; whilst the leaders re- 
proached each other with the disgrace of the army and the 
egregious error they had committed, the knights and sol- 
diers sank into a state of discouragement. The patriarch 
of Jerusalem refused from that time to bear the wood of the 
true cross in the van of the Crusaders, as he found the sight 
of it tsould neither revive their piety nor reanimate their 
courage. The kings and princes who directed the crusade, 
wishing to retrieve so shameful a reverse before they returned 
to Palestine, led the army towards Phoenicia. In this new 

* It is oar duty to quote here what is met with in the continuator of 
Tabary, or the false Tabary, relative to this expedition of the Christians : 
*' They undertook to besiege the castle of Thour (Tabor), and reached 
the top of the mountain and the foot of the walls. They were very near 
becoming masters of it ; but one of their princes being dead, they retired, 
after having remained seventeen days before the fort." This account is 
quite contrary to that of the western historians, and otherwise bears no 
mark of probability. It is true that the king of Cyprus died daring this 
campaign of the Crusadrrs ; but he died at Tripoli, and more than a month 
after the expedition of Mount Tabor. 

t According to the chronicles of the times, and the report of travellers, 
there' is no water on Mount Tabor. It is probable that the want of water 
prevented the Cnuaders from undertaking the siege of the fbrtren. 


campaign no exploit signalized their arms ; being winter, a 
great number of the soldiers, overcome by cold, remained 
abandoned on the roads, whilst others fell into the hands of 
the Bedouin Arabs. On Christmas eve, the Crusaders, who 
were encamped between Tyre and Sarphat, were surprised 
by a violent tempest ; wind, rain, hail, whirlwinds, incessant 
peals of thunder killed their horses, carried away their tents, 
and scattered their baggage. This disaster completed their 
despondency, and created a belief that Heaven refused them 
its support. 

As tney were in serious want of provisions, and the whole 
army could not subsist in one place, they resolved to divide 
themselves into four diiferent bodies till the end of winter. 
This separation, which was made amidst mutual complaints, 
appeared to be the work of discord much more than of 
necessity. The king of Jerusalem, the duke of Austria, and 
the grand master of St. John encamped in the plains of 
Csesarea ; the king of Hungary, the king of Cyprus, and 
Baymond, son of tne prince of Antioch, retired to Tripoli ;• 
the grand masters of the Templars and the Teutonic knights, 
and Andrew d'Avesnes, with the Flemish Crusaders, went 
to fortify a castle built at the foot of Mount Carmel ; the 
other Crusaders retired to Ptolemais with the intention of 
going back to Europe. 

The king of Cyprus fell ill and died just as he was upon 
the point of embarking for his own kingdom. The king of 
Hungary was discouraged, and began to despair of the suc- 
cess of a war so unfortunatelv commencedf. This prince, 
after a sojourn of three months in Palestine, thought his 
vow accomplished, and resolved, all at once, to return to his 

The West had doubtless been surprised to see Andrew 
abandon his kingdom, torn by factions, to repair to Syria ; 
and the Eastern Christians were not less astonished at see- 
ing this prince leave Palestine without having done any- 
thmg for the deliverance of the holy places. The patriarch 
of Jerusalem reproached him with inconstancy, and employed 
his utmost efforts to retain him beneath the banners of the 

* Tbo animportaot accounts of this period are to be found in the con- 
ttnnator of William of Tyre and in James of Vitri, who was then bishop 
of Ptolemais. 


cross ; but finding Andrew would not yield to bis prayei , 
be had recourse to threats, and displayed the formidab.^ 
train of the weapons of the Church. Nothing, however, 
could shake the resolution of the king of Hungary, who 
satisfied himself with not appearing to desert the cause of 
Christ by leaving half bis troops under the command of the 
kmg of Jerusalem. 

After having quitted Palestine, Andrew remained for a 
lon^ time in Armenia, appearing to forget his own enemies, 
as he had forgotten those of Christ. He came back into 
Europe through Asia Minor, and beheld, whilst passing Con- 
stantinople, the wreck of the Latin empire, which ought to 
have roused him from bis pious indolence, and have reminded 
him of his own dangers. The Hungarian monarch, who had 
left his army in Syria, took back with him a number of relics ; 
such as the head of St. Peter, the right hand of the apostle 
Thomas, and one of the seven vases in which Clirist changed 
water into iR-ine at the marriage in Cana : his confidence in 
these revered objects made him negligent of the means of 
human prudence ; and, if we may believe a contemporary 
chronicle,* when he returned into Hungary, the relics 
which he brought from the Holy Land sufficed for the sup- 
pression of all the troubles of his states, and caused peace, 
the laws, and justice, to flourisb throughout his provinces. 
The greater part of the Hungarian historians, however, hold 
quite another language,t and reproach their monarch ^itb 
having dissipated nis treasures and his armies in an impru- 
dent and an unfortunate expedition ; the nobility and people 
took advantage of his long absence to impose laws upon 
him, and obtain liberties and privileges which weakened the 
royal power, and scattered the germs of a rapid decay in the 
kingdom of Hungary. 

* The archdeacon Thomas describes with great simplicity the miracles 
effected by the relics of the king of Hnngaiy. 

t One of these bistprians, Palma, expresses himself thus: — Hno 
eadem expeditio Hierosolymitana adeo neiros omnes monarchite Hnn- 
garics absttmpdt, at unins propemodum seculi spatio ad pristinam opa- 
lentiam viresque redire neqaiverit. Another historian adds, that the 
long absence of Andrew, and the imbecility of his son, so completely 
alienated the minds of his subjects, that his return created no joy, and 
that Benedict, the chancellor of Queen Yollande, had difficulty in p«r- 
toading a few prelates to go out and meet him. 


After the departure of the king of Hungary, a mat 
number of Crusaders arrired from the ports of HoUand, 
Ji-ance, and Italjr. The CruBaders from Friesland, Cologne, 
and the banks of the Khine had stopped on the coast of 
FortugaljTchere they had conquered the Moors in several great 
battles, killed two Saracen princes, and mounted the ban- 
ners of the cross upon the walls of Alcazar. They described 
the miracles by which Heaven had seconded their valour, 
and the apparition oF angels, clothed in resplendent armour, 
who had fought on the banks of the Tagus, in the ranks of 
the soldiers of Christ * The arrival of these warriors, with 
the account of their victories, revived the courage of the 
Crusaders who had remained in Palestine under the com- 
mand of Leopold, duke of Austria; with such a powerful 
reinforcement, nothing was talked of but renewing the war 
against the Mussulmans. 

The project of conquering the banks of the Nile often 
occupied the thoughts of the Christians ; since the idea of a 
war m Egypt had been put forth bv the pope himself amidst 
the council of the Lateran, it had been considered as an in- 
spiration &om Heaven ; they only thought of the advantages 
of a rich conquest, and the perils of so difficult an enterprise 
appeared of no importance m the eyes of the soldiers of the 

The Christian army, commanded by the king of Jerusa- 
lem, the duke of Austria, and William, count of Holland, 
embarked at the port of Ptolemais, and landed within sight 
of Damietta, on the northern bank of the second mouth of 
the Nile. The city of Damietta,t situated at the distance 

* The register of HonorioB in Rioaldi, and particularly the letter written 
by William of Holland to the pope, may be consulted for the details of 
this campiign against the Moon. William asks permission of the sove- 
reign pontiff to remain in Portugal a year ; but this permission was refused 
him by the Holy See, at that time only interested in the crusade beyond 
the sea. Some details concerning the expedition of the Crusaders in 
Portugal may be found in James of Yitri, and in the monk Godfrey. 

t Savary has rectified an error committed bj several learned modems^ 
who have confounded the dty of Damietta, which existed in the times of 
the crusades, and which is called TAamiatU by Stephen of Bysantium, 
with the city of that name which exists at present. Abonlfeda informs us 
that the ancient Damietta was set fire to and demolished in the year 648 
of the Uegyra, after the cruaadeof St. Louis, and that aiMitbar dty, voder 

282 HI8T0BT OF THB CEV8AJ>£8. 

of a mile from the sea, had a double rampart on the river 
side, and a triple wall on the land side ; a tower arose in the 
middle of the Nile, and an iron chain, which reached from 
the city to the tower, prevented the passage of vessels. The 
citv contained a numerous garrison, with provisions and 
munitions of war for a long siege. Damietta had already 
several times resisted formidable attacks of the Christians. 
Eoger, king of Sicily, had made himself master of it in the 
. preceding centur>% out he was not able to retain and defend 
it, against the umted forces of the Mussulmans. 

The Crusaders arrived before Damietta early in April ; 
having pitched their tents in a vast plain, they had beoind 
them lakes and pools abounding in fish of all kmds ;* before 
them the Nile, covered with their vessels ; a thousand canals, 
crowned with evergreen papyrus and reeds, intersected the 
lands, and spread treshness and fertility around them. In 
the fields which had so lately been the theatre of sanguinary 
contests, no traces of war were to be seen ; harvests of rice 
covered the plains in which Christian armies had perished 
by famine ; groves of oranges and citrons loaded with flowers 
and fruit ; woods of palms and sycamores, thickets of jas- 
mines and odoriferous shrubs, with a crowd of plants and 
wonders, unknown to the pilgrims, created the image of an 
earthly paradise, and made them fancy that Damietta must 
have been the first dwelling of man in his state of innocence. 
The aspect of a beautiful sky and a rich climate intoxicated 
them with joy, kept hope alive in their hearts, and held out 
to them the accomplishment of all the divine promises. In 
their religious and warlike enthusiasm, they believed they 
saw Providence prodigal of its miracles for the success of 
their arms ; scarcely had they established their camp on the 
bank of the Nile, when an eclipse of the moon covered the 
horizon vrith darkness ; and even this phenomenon inflamed 
their courage, as it appeared to them a presage of the greatest 

the same name, was constnicted at two leagues from the sea. The asser- 
tion of Aboulfeda agrees in this point with the description of Macnzi. 

* James of Yitri gives a sufficientljpartiealar description of Egypt and 
its productions ; this portion of his history is not unworthy of the pemsal 
of the learned, and may give a jnst idea of the knowledge of geogtaphy 
and datnral history of the thirteenth oentary. 


The first attacks* were directed against tHe tower built in 
the middle of the Nile ; vessels, in which were placed towers, 
ladders, and drawbridges, approached the walls. The soldiers 
who manned them, braving the arrows and murderous 
machines of the Mussulmans, made several assaults ; but 
prodigies of strength, courage, and skill were useless. The 
most intrepid of the Crusaders, victims of their own rasb 
bravery and devotedness, perished, swallowed up by the 
waves, without being able to be succoured or avenged by 
their companions. In all the attacks, nothing could equal 
the impetuous valour of the Western warriors; but this 
valour was not seconded by either the prudence of the com- 
manders or the discipline of the soldiers ; each nation had 
its leader, its machines of war, its days for fighting • no order 
governed either attack or retreat ; the soldiers on board the ^ 
vessels wished to manoeuvre them, the sailors would fight. 

The frequent checks they experienced, at length, however, 
taught them prudence : the ligntest of their vessels ascended 
the Nile, and returning to cast anchor above the tower built 
in the middle of the nver, attacked and broke asunder the 
bridge of boats which united the \ower with the city. In- 
dustry likewise lent its assi^ance to the bravery of the 
Crusaders ; machines of war were invented, of which no 
models had previouslv existed. A^ enormous wooden castle, 
built upon two vesselsjt joined together by beams and joists, 
was admired as a miraculous invention, and considered as a 
certain pledge of victory. Upon this floating castle was a 
drawbridge, which could be lowered upon the tower of the 
Saracens, and galleries destined to receive the soldiers who 
were to attack the walls. A poor priest of the church of 
Cologne, J who had preached the crusade on the banks of the 

* For particulars of tba siege of Damietta, James of Vitri, the con- 
tinuator of William of Tyre, Marin Sanut, Matthew Paris, the corre- 
spondence of Honorius in Raynaldif Godfrey, and the Monk of Alberic 
may be consulted. We haye examined the account attribated to OliTier, 
priest of Cologne, which may be found in the Gesia Dei per FraneoM, but 
this account is repeated by James of Vitri. The Arabian authors and the 
Chronicle of Ibn-ferat have afforded us great assistance in our labours, 
and haye informed us of very important facts of which the Franks and 
their hutorians were ignorant. 

t Le P^re Mairabourg gives a long account of this machine, not neoes- 
ssrr to be repeated. * 

X This pftm, who was named Olivier, afterwards became bishop of 

Vol. II.— 11 


Shine, and followed the Christian armj into Egypt, was 
charged with the superintendence of the erection of this 
formidahle edifice. As the popes in their letters always 
advised the Crusaders to take with them to the East men 
skilled in the mechanical arts,* the Christian army was in 
no want of workmen to perform the most difficult lahoUrs ; 
the liberality of the leaders and soldiers supplied all the 
necessary expenses. 

The whole army looked with impatience for the moment 
at which the enormous fortress should be brought near to 
the tower on the Nile ; prayers were offered up in the camp 
for the protection of Heaven ; the patriarch and the king of 
Jerusalem, the clergy and the soldiers, during several days, 
submitted to all the austerities of penitence, — all marched 
in procession barefooted to the seashore. The leaders had 
fixed upon the festival of the apostle St. Bartholomew as 
the day for the assault, and the Crusaders were filled with 
hope and ardour. They vied with each other in eagerness to 
be of the assaulting party, for which the best soldiers of each 
nation were selected, and Leopold, duke of Austria, the 
model of Christian knights, obtained the honour of com- 
manding an expedition with which the first success of the 
crusade was connected. 

On the appointed day, the two vessels surmounted by the 
wooden tower received the signal for moving. They carried 
three hundred warriors fully armed; and an innumerable 
multitude of Mussulmans assembled on the walls contem- 
plated the spectacle with surprise mingled with dread. The 
two vessels pursued their silent course up the middle of. the 
river, whilst all the Crusaders, either drawn up in battle- 
array on the left bank of the Nile, or dispersed over the 
neighbouring hills, saluted with loudest acclamations the 
moving fortress which bore the fortunes and the hopes of the 
Christian army. On drawing near to the walls the two 
vessels cast anchor, and the soldiers prepared for the assault. 
Whilst the Christians hurled their javelins and got ready 

Pftderbom and a cardinal of St. Sabina ; it ia the same that signed his 
name to the account we have mentioned in a preceding note. 

* Gretser, in his treaty de Cruee, says formally that the popes required 
the commanders of the pilgrims to take with them both agricultuiists and 


tbeir lances and swords, the Saracens poured upon them 
torrents of Greek fire, and employed every effort to make 
the wooden castle on which their enemies fought a prey to 
the flames. The one party was encouraged .by the shouts 
and applauses of the Christian army, the other by the thou- 
sand times repeated acclamations of the inhabitants of Da- 
mietta. Amidst the fight, the machine of the Crusaders all 
at once appeared on fire ; the drawbridge lowered on to the 
walls of the tower wavered and was unsteady ; the flagstaff 
of the duke of Austria fell into the Nile, and the banner of 
the Christians remained in the hands of the Mussulmans. 
At this sight the Saracens uttered the most extravagant 
cries of joy, whilst groans and sounds of grief were heard 
along the shore on which the Crusaders were encamped ; the 
patriarch of Jerusalem, the clergy, the whole army, fell on 
their knees, and raised their supplicating hands towards 

But soon, as if God had been favourable to their prayers, 
the flames were extinguished, the machine was repaired, the 
drawbridge was replaced, and the companions of Leopold 
renewed the attack with more ardour than ever. Prom the 
top of their fortress they commanded the waUs of the tower, 
and dealt mighty blows with sabre, spear, battle-axe, and iron 
mace. Two soldiers sprang upon the platform upon which 
the Saracens defended themselves ; they carried terror among 
the besieged, who descended tumultuously to the first stage 
of the tower ; the latter set fire to the floor, and endeavoured 
to oppose a rampart of flames between themselves and the 
enemies who rushed down in pursuit of them ; but these 
last efforts of despair and bravery presented but a vain re- 
sistance to the Christian soldiers. The Mussulmans were 
attacked in all parts of the tower ; and their walls, shaken 
by the machines, appeared to be sinking around them, and 
about to bury them oeneath the ruins : in this hopeless con- 
dition they laid down their arms, and sued to their conquerors 
for life. 

After this memorable victory, the Christians, masters of 
the tower of the Nile, broke tne chain which impeded the 
passage of vessels, and their fleet was able to approach close 
to the ramparts of the city. 

About the same time (September, 1217) Malek-Adel, who 


had rendered himself so formidable to the Christians, died 
in the capital of Egypt. He heard before his death of the 
yietorj ivnuch the Chnstians had gained at Damietta ; and 
the Crusaders did not fail to say that he had sunk under the 
effects of despair, and that he carried with him to the tomb 
thepower ana glory of the Mussulmans. 

The Christians, in their histories, have represented Malek- 
Adel as an ambitious, cruel, and stem prince; Oriental 
writers celebrate his piety and mildness. An Arabian his- 
torian boasts of his love of justice and truth,* and paints, by 
a single trait, the moderation of the absolute monarchs of 
Asia, when he says, " that the brother of Saladin listened 
without anger to that which displeased him." 

Historians unite in praising the bravery of the Mussulman 
prince, and the ability he displayed in the execution of all 
his designs. No piince knew better how to make himself 
obeyed, or to give to supreme power that brilliant exterior 
which strikes the imagination of nations, and disposes them 
to submission. In his court, he always appeared surrounded 
with the pomn of the East : his palace was as a sanctuary 
which no one aurst approach : he rarely appeared in public ; 
when he did, it was in a manner to inspure fear: as he was 
fortunate in all his undertakings, the Mussulmans had no 
difiSculty in belieying that the favourite of fortune was the 
favourite of Heaven : the caliph of Bagdad sent ambassadors 
to salute him king of kings, Malek-Adel was pleased to be 
styled in camps Self Eddinf (the sword of religion), and 
this glorious name, which he had merited by his contests 
with the Christians, drew upon him the love and confidence 
of the soldiers of Islamism. He astonished the East by his 
abdication, as much as he had astonished it by his victories ; 
the surprise he excited only added to his glory as well as to 
his power ; and, that his destiny might in everything be ex- 
traordinary, fortune decreed that when he had descended 

* The Chronicle of Ihn-feraC collects the judgments of all the ArabiaQ 
historians upon Malek-Adel. These historians all express themselves in 
the same manner. The continnator of William of Tyre, who appears to 
have lived in the East, speaks of the pomp and of the air of majestj which 
were remarked in the brother of Saladin : the latter otherwise treats 
Malek-Adel with great severity. 

t It is under the name of Seif-Eddin, by corruption S^>badin, that 
Malek-Adel is known in onr Histories of the CmsadM. 


from the throne, he, should still remain master. His fifteen 
sons, of whom several were sovereigns, still tremhled before 
him ; nations prostrated themselves on his passage ; up to the 
very hour in which he closed his eyes, his presence, his 
name only, maintained peace in his family and the provinces, 
and order and discipline in the armies. 

At his death the face of everything began to change ; the 
empire of the Ayoubites, which he had sustained by his ex- 
ploits, gave tokens of decline ; the ambition of the emirs, 
for a long time restrained, broke out into conspiracies 
against the supreme authority ; a spirit of license began to 
be apparent in the Mussulman armies, and particularlv 
among the troops that defended Egypt. 

The Crusaders ought to have profited by the death of 
Malek-Adel, and the consequences it was sure to produce, 
by attacking the discouraged Mussulmans without inter- 
mission. But instead of following up their success, after 
they had obtained possession of the Tower of the Nile, they 
all at once neglected the labours of the siege, and appeared 
to have fallen asleep over their first victories. A great 
number of them, persuaded that they had done enough for 
the cause of Christ, only thought of embarking to return 
into Europe. Every vessel that left the port recalled to the 

Pilgrims remembrances of home ; and the beautiful sky of 
)amietta, which had inflamed their imaginations at the com- 
mencement of the siege, was not sufficient to retain them in 
a country which they began to consider as a place of exile. 

The clergy, however, warmly censured the retreat and de- 
sertion of the Crusaders, and implored Heaven to punish 
the base soldiers who thus abandoned the standards of the 
cross. Six thousand pilgrims from Brittany, who were return- 
ing to Europe, were shipwrecked on the coast of Italy, and 
almost all perished ; and the ecclesiastics, with the most 
ardent of the Crusaders, did not fail to see, in so great a dis- 
aster, a manifestation of divine anger. When the Crusaders 
of Friesland, after having deserted the banners of the Holy 
Land, had returned into the "West, the ocean all at once 
broke through the dykes, and overflowed its customary boun- 
daries ; the richest provinces of Holland were submerged, 
and a hundred thousand inhabitants, with whole cities, dis- 
appeared beneath the waters. Many Christians attributed 


this calamity to the culpable retreat of the Frieson and 
Dutch Crusaders. 

The pope beheld with jpain the return of the pilgrim de- 
serters £rom the cause of Christ. Honorius neglected notliing 
to secure the success of a war he had preached ; and he 
every day, both b;^' prayers and threats, pressed the departure 
of those who, after having taken the cross, delayed the 
accomplishment of their vow. 

According to the usual custom of navigators, two periods 
of the year were fixed upon at which it was best to cross the 
sea. The pilgrims almost always embarked in the month of 
March and in the month of September, whether to repair to 
the East or to return to Europe ; which caused them to be 
compared to those birds of passage that change their climate 
at the approach of a new season, and towards the end of 
fine weather.* At each passage, the Mediterranean was 
covered with vessels which transported Crusaders, some re- 
turning to their homes, others going to fight the infidels. 
At the very moment the Christians were deploring the loss 
of the Frieson and Dutch warriors, their spints were restored 
by seeing Crusaders from Germany, Pisa, Genoa, Venice, and 
several provinces of France, arrive in tlie camp at Damietta, 

Among the French warriors, history names Ilerve, count 
of Nevers ; Hugh, count de la Marche ; Miles de Bar-sur- 
Seine ; tlie lords John of Artois and Ponce de Crancey ; 
Ithier de Thacy, and Savary de Maul^on ; they were accom- 
panied by the archbishop of Bordeaux, the bishops of 
Angers, Autim, Beauvais, Paris, Meaux, Noyon, &c. Eng- 
land also sent the bravest of her knights into Egypt. Henry 
III. had taken the cross after the council of the Lateran ; 
but as he could not quit his dominions, at that time a prey 
to civil wars and torn by discord, the earls of Ilarcourt, 
Chester, and Arundel, with Prince 01iver,t were honoured 
with the charge of acquitting, in his name, the vow he had 
taken to fight in the East for the cause of Christ. 

At the head of the pilgrims who arrived at that time in 
Egypt were two cardinals, whom the pope had sent to the 

* A Latin disnertation, by Boeder, entitled 2>e PoMtOffiiif may be oon« 
fcdted OD this subject, 
t I caoDOt make out who this Prince Oliver was.— -Trans. 


Christian army. Bobert de Coui^n, one of the preachers 
of the crusade, was charged with the mission of inculcating 
the moral precepts of Christ in the camp of the Crusaders, 
and animating the zeal and devotion oi the soldiers by his 
eloquence. Cardinal Pelagius, bishop of Albano, was in- 
Tested with the entire confidence of the Holy See; ho 
brought with him the treasures that were to defray the ex- 
penses of the war ; the Crusaders from Eome and several 
other cities of Italy marched under his orders, and recognised 
him as their military leader. 

Cardinal Pela^us, by his position, was endowed with 
great authority m the Christian army, and his naturally 
imperious character led him to assume even more power than 
he had received from the Holy See. In whatever affair he 
was employed, he acknowledged no equal, and would not en- 
dure a superior. He had been known to oppose the sove- 
reign pontiff in the bosom of the conclave ; ne would have 
resisted the most powerful monarchs, even in their own 
councils. Cardinal Pelagius, persuaded that Providence 
meant to make use of him to accomplish great designs, be- 
lieved himself fit for all works, and appointed to all kinds of 
glory ; when he had formed a determmation, he maintained 
it with invincible obstiaacy, and was influenced by neither 
obstacles nor perils, nor even by the lessons of experience. 
If Pelagius originated any advice in council, ha supported it 
with all the menaces of the court of Rome, and often gave 
cause for a belief that the thunders of the Church had only- 
been confided to his hands, that he might secure the triumph 
of his own opinions. 

Pelagius had scarcely arrived in Egypt, when, as legate of 
the pope, he disputed the command ol the army with John 
of Brienne. To support his pretensions, he asserted that 
the Crusaders had taken up arms at the desire of the sove- 
reign pontiff; that they were the soldiers of the Church, 
and ought to recognise no other head than the legate of the 
Holy See: these assumptions gave great offence to the 
barons and principal leaders. From that time it was eaay to 
foresee that discord would be introduced by him whose 
mission it was to establish peace ; and that the envoy of the 
pope, charged to preach humility among Christians, was 


about to ruin eyerytbiug bj his mad presumptioii.* Cardinal 
de Cour9on died shortly after his arrival. 

The continuator of "William of Tyre, whilst deploring the 
death of this legate, who had been remarkable for his mo- 
deration, characterizes, by a single word, the conduct of 
Pelagius, and the consequences that might be expected fix)m 
it, by saving : " Then died Cardinal Peter, and Pelagius lived, 
which was a great pity." 

In the mean time, the approach of danger had reunited 
the Mussulman princes. The caliph of Bagdad^ whom James 
of Vitrit styles the pope of the injldeh, exhorted the nations 
to take up arms agamst the Christians. All the sons of 
Malek-Adel, who reigned over the provinces of Syria and of 
Temen, prepared to march to the assistance of Egypt. The 
sultan 01 Damascus, after having made several mcursions 
into the territories of Ptolemais, gathered together his whole 
army, and resolved to go and defend Damietta. As he had 
reason to fear the Christians might take advantage of his 
absence to seize Jerusalem and fortify themselves in it, he 
caused the ramparts of the holy city to be demoKshed. He 
also ordered the fortress of Tabor, and all those that the 
Mussulmans held along the coasts of Palestine, to be de- 
stroyed ; a vigorous measure that afficted the infidels, but 
was calculated to afflict the Christians still more ; as it proved 
to them that they had to contend with enemies animated by 

* la the letter by which Honorius announced to the leaders of the 
crusade the powers he bad given to Cardinal PelagiaSf his holiness ex- 
presses himself thus : Ut ezercitum Domini cum humiliCate praecedens, 
Concordes in concordia foveat, et ad pacem revocet impacatos. 

t Cal{fai papa iptorum. The continuator of William of Tyre calls the 
caliph the Apostle of the Miscreants. The same bLitorian adds : — * ' Apr^ 
manda (le soudan du Caire) au calife de Baudac, qui apostoiUe 6tait des 
Sarrasins, et par Mahomet qu'il le seccurQt, et sMl ne le seccurait, il per* 
drait U terre. Car Tapostolic de Rome y euToyait tant de gent, que ce 
n'^tait mie conte ne mesure, et qu'il fait preschier par Payennisme ainsi 
oomme faisaient par Chretienti, et envoyat au soudain grant seccurs de 
gent par son preschement." — " The sultan of Cairo afterwards sent to the 
caliph of Bagdad, who was the apostle of the Saracens, and implored him, 
in the name of Mahomet, to assist him, assuring him that if he did not 
assist him, he should lose his dominions. For the apostle of Rome ^ent 
so many people that they were beyond all count or meaaure, and that the 
caliph mast order preaching throughout Paganism as was practised in 
Christendom, and he might send the sultan great *«fiiit^np^ in cdDseqaeDoe 
of bis preachings." 


despair, and disposed to sacrifice everything to secure their 
own safety. 

The sultan of Cairo encamped in the vicinity of Damietta, 
where he awaited the princes of his family. The garrison 
of the city received every day provisions and reinforcements, 
and was in a condition to resist the Christian army for a 
length of time. The preparations and the approach of the 
Mussulmans at length roused the Crusaders m>m their state 
of inaction. Animated by their leaders, but more by the 
appearance of danger and the presence of a formidable 
enemy ; still led by the king of Jerusalem, who had resisted 
the pretensions of Pelagius, the Christian soldiers resumed 
the labours of the siege and made several assaults upon the 
city on the river side. The winter, which had just set in, 
did not at all prevent their attacks ; nothing could equal the 
heroic constancy with which they braved, during several 
months, cold, rain, hunger, all the fatigues of war, and all 
the rigours of the season. A contagious malady committed 
great ravages in the Christian army : a frightful storm, 
which lasted three days, carried away the tents and the 
baggage of both leaders and soldiers; but nothing dimi- 
nished the fury of the contests, which were incessantly 

At length the Christians, having become masters of all 
the western bank of the Nile, determined to cross the river, 
and attack the city on the land side. The passage was 
difficult and dangerous ; the sultan of Cairo had fixed his 
camp on the opposite shore ; the plain on which the Crusa- 
ders wished to pitch their tents was covered with Mussul- 
man soldiers ; an unexpected event removed all obstacles. 

We have spoken of the seditious spirit of the emirs, who, 
since the death of Malek-Adel, had openly shown their am- 
bitious designs and sought to introduce divisions into the 
Mussulman armies. The most remarkable among these 
emirs, was the leader of a troop of Curds, named Emad- 
eddin,* who had taken a part in all the revolutions of Egypt 

* The Chronicle of Ibn-ferat, from which we have drawn that which we 
relate, says that Emad-eddin was the son of Seif-Eddin-aboul-Hassan- 
Ali-bqn-Ahmed Alhekari, suroamed Ibn-almachtoub (son of the Scarred), 
OD account of a wound which had marked his face. The same chronicle adds 
that the emir, the son of the Scarred, despised the futile things of kingi| 


242 HI8T0BT OF THC CBlTflABia. 

lind Syria. Associated with the destinies of the bodb of 
Ayoub, this emir had witnessed the rise and fall of several 
Mussulman dynasties, and held in contempt the powers of 
which he knew both the source and the origin. An intrepid 
soldier, a faithless subject, always ready to serve his sove- 
reigns in fight or betray them in a conspiracy, Emad-eddin 
could not endure a prince who reigned by the laws of peace, 
or recognise a power which was not the fruit of his intrigues 
or of a revolution. As fortune had always favoured his 
audacity, and as all his treacheries had been well rewarded, 
every fresh revolt augmented his credit and his renown ; an 
enemy to all acknowledged authority, the hope of all who 
aspired, to empire, he was almost as redoubtable as the Old 
Man of the Mountain, whose menaces made the most 
powerful monarchs tremble. Emad-eddin resolved to change 
the government of Egypt, and conceived the project of de- 
throning the sultan of Cairo, and replacing him by another 
of the sons of Malek-Adel. 

Several emirs were drawn into this conspiracy. On the 
day appointed, they were to enter the tent of Melic-Kamel,' 
and compel him, by violence, to renounce the supreme 
authoritv. The sultan was warned of the plot prepared 
against him, and on the eve of the day on which it was to 
be carried into effect, he left his camp in the middle of the 
night. The next da^, at dawn, the conspirators were made 
aware tliat their designs had been discovered ; they endea- 
voured in vain to draw the soldiers into a revolt ; the greatest 
confusion prevailed throughout the camp ; among the emirs, 
some gathered around Emad-eddin, and swore to follow his 
fortunes ; others, doubtful of the success of his enterprise, 
remained silent ; many took an oath to defend Melic-Kamel. 
Amidst these debates, the Mussulman army, conscious that 
they were without a leader, feared they might be surprised 
by the Christians. A panic terror all at once seized upon 
the soldiers, who abandoned their tents and their baggage, 
and rushed in the greatest disorder in the traces of their 
fugitive sultan. 

This retreat, of which the Christians could not imagine 
the cause, and which their historians explain by a miracle 
$nd that most extnordiiuury ciioamitanoet w«n rcUtad of hk nvoUi 


firom heaven,* opened to tbem the passage of the Nile. The 
army hastened to cross the river, took possession of the 
Mussulman' camp, made an immense booty, and drew near 
to the walls of Damietta. 

The panic, however, which had put the Mussulman troops 
to flight, had not at all communicated itself to the garrison 
of the city : this intrepid garrison offered the most vigorous 
resistance, and gave the army of Melic-Kamelf time to re- 
cover from its fright. The sultan of Damascus soon joined 
his brother the sultan of Cairo. Emad-eddin and the other 
leaders of the conspiracy were arrested and loaded with 
chains. Order and discipline were reestablished among the 
Saracens, and the Christian army had to contend with all 
tlie united forces of the infidels, impatient to repair their 
check, and recover the advantages they had lost. 

The burning days of summer were approaching: the 
Nile, increased by the rains of the tropics, oegan to issue 
from its bed. The Christian army was encamped under the 
walls of Damietta, having the lake Menzaleh in its rear. 
The Saracens came and pitched their tents at a short dis- 
tance from the camp of the Christians, who, oppressed by 
the consumins heat of the season and the climate, were 
subject every day to the ^irited attacks of the infidels. In 
one of these conflicts, the Mussulmans got possession of a 
bridge which the Crusaders had thrown over the Nile ; the 
banks of the river were covered with dead, and the Christian 
army only owed its safety to the heroic bravery of the duke 
of Austria, the king of Jerusalem, and the grand masters of 
St. John and the Temple. Soon after, another battle was 
fought still more bloody than the first. In this fight, as it 
is described by James of Vitri, an ocular witness, not a per- • 
son among the Christians was idle : the clergy were *at pray- 
ers or attending the wounded ; whilst the women and chil- 
dren carried water, wine, food, stones, and javelins, to the 
combatants. AVliirlwinds of scorching dust arose in the air, 
and enveloped the two armies. The cries of the wounded 
and the dying, the somid of the trumpets, and the clashing 

* All the Christian historians of the middle ages, and Maimboorg after 
them, appear persuaded that Providence, by a miracle of its will, put the 
Saracens to flight. 

t Oar historians of the crusades name this prince Meledio. 

244 HisTOBY or the cbitsades. 

of arms resounded from the neighbouring hills and from both 
shores of the Nile. Sometimes the Saracens were put to 
flight, and whole battalions, sajs James of Vitri, disappeared 
submerged in the Nile, as formerly the armies of Pharaoh 
perished in the Bed Sea. Sometimes the Christians were 
repulsed in their turn, and left a great number of their war- 
riors on the field of battle : the carnage lasted during the 
whole day, without either side being able to claim the vic- 
tory. W hilst the two armies were contending with such 
fury on the banks, the Genoese and the Pisans, on board 
their vessels, made an attack upon the ramparts of the city. 
Several of their ships were consumed by the Q-reek fire, and 
the bravest of their soldiers were crushed beneath the beams 
and stones hurled from the top of the walls. At the aj^proach 
of night the Crusaders returned to their tents, despairing of 
ever being able to subdue the Saracens, and reproaching 
each other with want of courage in this unfortunate day. 

On the morrow fresh disputes arose between the horse 
and foot soldiers,* each of which bodies accused the other 
with having been the cause of the losses the army had ex- 
perienced. These debates became so warm that at length 
the foot and the horse both demanded, with loud tries, to 
be led again to battle, and rushed tumultuously out of the 
camp, to give convincing proofs of their bravery ; the leaders 
could neither restrain nor direct the ardoiur and impetuosity 
of their soldiers, who fought in disorder, and were repulsed 
by the Saracens after a horrible carnage. 

At this period a holy person, named Francis of Assise, 
made his appearance in tne Christian army, whoso reputa- 
tion for piety was spread throughout the Christian world, 
and had preceded him into the East. From his earliest 
youth, Francis had left the paternal roof to lead a life of 
edification. One day, whilst present at mass in a church in 
Italy, he was struck with the passage of the Gospel in which 
our Saviour says, " Take with you neither gold nor silver, 
nor other moneys ; neither scrips for the journey, nor sandals, 

* The infantry must have rendered, during the siege, greater serrices than 
the cavalry, in defending the intrenchments, mounting to the assault, or 
fighting on board the ships. This dispute alone proves that the infantry 
had made great prdgrau ; for till that time they would not have dared to 
compare themselves with the cavalry. 


nor staff." From that period Prancis had held in contempt 
all the riches of this world, and hod devoted himself to the 
poverty of the apostles ; he travelled through countries and 
cities, exhorting all people to penitence. The disciples who 
followed him braved the contempt of the multitude, and 
glorified themselves with it before God : when asked whence 
they came, they were accustomed to answer, " We are poor 
penitents from Assise." 

Francis was led into Egypt by the fame of the crusade, 
and by the hope of there effecting some great conversion. 
The day preceding the last battle, he had a miraculous pre- 
sentiment of the defeat of the Christians, and impartea his 
prediction to the leaders of the army, who heard him with 
indifference. Dissatisfied with the Crusaders, and devoured 
by the zeal of a mission jGrom God, he then conceived the 
project of securing the triumph of the faith by his eloquence 
and the arms of the Gospel alone. He directed his course 
towards the enemy's camp, put himself in the way of being 
taken prisoner by the Saracen soldiers, and was conducted 
into the presence of the sultan. Then Francis addressed 
Melic-Kamel,* and said to him, " It is God who sends me 
towards you, to point out to you the road to salvation." 
After these words, the missionary exhorted the sultanf to 

* The oontinnator of William of Tyre ipeaks at length of the interview 
between St. Francis and his companion and the sultan of Cairo. St. 
Francis at first proposed to the sultan to renounce Mahomet, under pain 
of eternal damnation. 

t Li soudan dist qu'il avait archevesques et ere^qaes de sa loi, et sans 
eux ne pouvoit-il cner ce qu'ils diraient. Les clercs lui respondirent : 
**Mandez les guerre ;' ' et ils vinrent k lui en sa tente. Si leur conta ce que . 
11 clercs li avaient dist ; ils re#pondirent : " Sire, tu es ^pee de la loi. Nous 
nous te commandons, de par Mahomet que tu lor fasse la teste couper.'' 
A tant puient oong^, si s'en allerent. Li soudan demora et li dist clercs, 
dont Tint li soudan, si lors dist, ** Seignors, ils m'ont command^, de par 
Mahomet, et de par la loi, que je yous fasse les testes couper ; mais j'irai 
en centre le commandement," &c. &c. (The sultan — we translate our old 
historian — said he had archbishops and bishops of the law, and without 
them he could not listen to what they had to say. The clerks, St. Francis 
and his companion, answered him, " Send for them here" — and they 
came to him in his tent. He then related to them what the clerks had 
said, and they answered : " Sire, thou art the sword of the law. We com. 
mand you, by Mahomet, to order their heads to be cut off." They then 
made their obeisance and went away. The sultan and the said derka 
remained. Then the sultan came towards them, and laid, " Seignon, tbey 


embrace the Gk)8pel ; he cliallenged in his presence all the 
>doctor8 of the law, and to confound imposture and prove the 
truth of the Christian religion, offered to cast hunself into 
the midst of a burning funeral-pile. The sultan, astonished, 
ordered the zealous preacher j&om his presence, who ob- 
tained neither of the objects of his wishes, for he did not 
convert the sultan, nor did he gather the palm of mar- 

After this adventure, St. Francis returned to Europe, 
where he founded the religious order of the Cordeliers, who 
at first, possessing neither churches, monasteries, lands, nor 
flocks, spread themselves throughout the West, labouring 
for the conversion of penitents. The disciples of St. Francis 
sometimes carried the word of God among savage nations ; 
some went into Africa and Asia, seeking, as their master 
had done, errors to confute and evils to endure ; they fre- 
quently planted the cross of Christ upon the lands of the 
iufideb, and in their harmless pilgrimages, constantly re- 
peated the scriptural words, Pectce he with you ; they were 
only armed with their prayers, and aspired to no glory but 
that of dying for the faith. 

The Crusaders had been encamped seventeen months 
before the waUs of Damietta, and not a single day had passed 
without a murderous conflict. The Mussulmans, altnough 
they had obtained some advantages, be|;an to lose all hope of 
triumphing over an enemy proof against the evils of war 
and an unhealthy climate. Eeport proclaimed the approach- 
ing arrival of the emperor of Germany, who had taken the 
cross, and this news, whilst it sustained the courage of the 
Christians, made the Mussulmans tremble at the idea of 
having to contend with the most powerful of the monarchs 
of the West. The sultan of Damascus, in the name of all 
the princes of his family, sent ambassadors to the camp of 
the Crusaders to ask for peace. He ofi*ered to abandon to 
the Franks the city and kmgdom of Jerusalem, and only to 
reserve to themselves the places of Krak and Montreal, for 
which they proposed to pay a tribute. As the ramparts and 

have commanded me, by Mahomet, to order your beads to be cut off; but 
I diall act contrary to the commandment/' &c. &c. The historian adds, 
that the sultan offered them presents, which they refused — h» ordered 
them csfreihmant, and tent them back to the Christian army. 

BI8IOBT OF THE CBU8iJ>X8. , 217 

towers of tbe Lolj city had been recently destroyed, the 
Mussulmans engaged to pay two hundred thousand dinars 
to re-establish them; they further agreed to give up all 
Christians made prisoners since the death of Saladin. 

The principal leaders of the Christian army were called 
together to deliberate upon the proposals of the Mussulmans. 
The king of Jerusalem^ the f^rench baroUB, the English, 
Dutch, and Germans, were of opinion that the terms should 
be acceded to, and the peace accepted : the king of Jerusa- 
lem would regain his kingdom, aud the barons of the West 
would see the happy end of a war that had detained them 
80 long from their nomes. 

" By accepting the peace they attained the object of the 
crusade, — the deliverance of the holy places. The Christian 
warriors had besieged Damietta during seventeen months, 
and the siege might be still prolonged. Many Crusaders 
daily retiuned to Europe ; whilst crowds of Mussulman war- 
riors as constantly joined the standards of the sultans of 
Cairo and Damascus. If they should take Damietta, they 
would be but too happy to exchange it for Jerusalem. The 
Mussulmans offered to give, before victory, quite as much as 
they could demand after having subdued them. It was not 
wise to refuse that which fortune offered to bestow upon 
them without conflicts or perils. The effusion of blood 
should be avoided, and they ought to reflect, that victories 
purchased by the death of the soldiers of the cross, were such 
as were most acceptable to the God of the Christians." 

The king of Jerusalem and most of the barons spoke thus, 
and endeavoured to bring to their opinion the Italian nobles 
and the body of the prelates, whom Cardinal Felagius led in 
an opposite direction. The legate of the pope regarded 
himself as the head of this war, and he wished it to continue, 
in order to prolong his power and to procure for him addi- 
tional renown. " lie could see nothing in the proposals of 
the enemy but a new artifice to delay the capture of Da- 
mietta, and gain time. The Saracens offered nothing but 
desert countries and demolished cities, which would fall again 
into their power. Their only object was to disarm the 
Christians, and furnish them with a pretext for returning 
into the West. Things had gone too for to allow them to 
^ retreat without dishonour. It was disgraceful for Christians 


to renounce the conauest of a city they, had besieged seren- 
teen months, and wnich could hold out no longer. They 
must take possession of it first, and then they should know 
what was best to be done — once masters of Damietta, the 
Crusaders might conclude a glorious peace, and reap all the 
advantages of victory." 

The motives alleged by Cardinal Pelagius were not un- 
reasonable, but the spirit of party and faction reigned in the 
council of the leaders of the crusade. As it always happens 
in similar circumstances, every one formed his opinion not 
upon that which he believed to be useful and just, but upon 
that which appeared most favourable to the party he had 
embraced ; some advised that the siege should be prosecuted, 
because the king of Jerusalem had offered a contrary opinion ; 
others wished the proposed capitulation should be accepted, 
because this capihilation was rejected by the legate of the 
pope. The Christian army exhibited a strange spectacle. 
On one side, John of Brienne and the most renowned war- 
riors were advocates for peace ; on the other, the legate and 
most of the ecclesiastics demanded with great warmth the 
continuation of the war : they deliberated during several 
days without a chance of bringing the two parties to an 
agreement ; and whilst the discussions became more intem- 
perate, hostilities were renewed: then all the Crusaders 
united to prosecute the siege of Damietta. 

The sultan of Cairo employed every means to throw suc- 
cours into the city, and keep up the courage of the garrison 
and the inhabitants. Some Mussulman soldiers, taking 
advantage of the darkness of night, attempted to effect an 
entrance into the place ; a few were able to gain and pass 
through the gates, but by far the greater number were sur- 
prised and massacred by the Crusaders, who kept constant 
and close watch around the walls. 

The news which the sultan, Melic-Kamel, received firom 
Damietta, became every day more alarming ; the Mussulman 
army, not daring to succour the besieged, remained inactive, 
and confined themselves to the defence of their own in- 
trenchments. Communication was soon entirely cut off 
between the place and the camp of the infidels ; some divers 
crossed the Nile through the Christian fieet, attained Da- 
mietta, and returned to inform the sultan that pestilence. 


famine, and despair reigned throughout the city. The Mus- 
sulmans had recourse to all sorts of stratagems to convey 
food to the garrison ; sometimes thej filled leather sacks 
with provisions, which, heing abandoned to the stream of 
the Nile, floated under the ramparts of the citj ; at others, 
they concealed loaves in the sheets that enveloped dead 
bodies, which, being borne on by the waters, were stopped in 
their course by the besieged. It was not long before these 
stratagems were discovered by the Christians, and then 
famine began to make horrible ravages ; the soldiers, over- 
come by fatigue and weakened by hunger, had not the 
strength to fight or guard the towers and ramparts. The 
inhabitants, given up to despair, abandoned their houses, 
and fled from a city that presented nothing but images of 
death : many came to implore the pity of the Crusaders. 
The commander of Damietta, whose name history has not 
preserved, in vain endeavoured to keep up the courage of 
the people and the soldiers. To prevent desertion, he caused 
the gates of the city to be walled up ; and from that period 
neither the sultan of Cairo nor the Crusaders were able to 
know what was passing in the besieged place, in which a 
dismal silence reigned, and which, according to the expres- 
sion of an Arabian author, was no longer anything but a 
closed sepulchre. 

The Christians had placed their machines at the foot of a 
tower, and as they saw no one defending it, the legate, at 
the head of the Italian Crusaders, took advantage of a dark 
and stormy night to penetrate within the first inclosure of 
the walls. The king of Jerusalem and the other leaders 
resolved at the same time to make an assault and enter the 
city, sword in hand. As soon as day appeared, the boldest 
ascended into the tower, which they found deserted, and 
called aloud upon their companions to join them. The 
• Christian army applauded theur success, and answered by 
shouts of joy ; the soldiers flew to arms, and instantly put 
the rams in motion. The walls were scaled, the gates were 
beaten to pieces, and a passage opened ; the eager Crusaders 
rushed forward with naked swords and ready lances to en- 
counter the enemy ; but when they penetrated into the 
streets, a pestilential odour enveloped tnem, and a frightful 
spectacle made them recoil with horror ! The public phices. 


the mosques, the houses, the whole city, were strewed with 
dead !• Old age, infancy, ripened manhood, maiden beauty, 
matronly grace — aU had penehcd in the horrors of the siege ! 
At the arrival of the Crusaders, Damietta contained seventy 
thousand inhabitants ; of these only three thousand of the 
most robust remained, who, ready to expire, glided like pale, 
fading shadows among tombs and ruins. • 

This horrible spectacle touched the hearts of the Cru- 
saders, and mingled a feeling of sadness with the joy their 
victory created. The conquerors found in Damietta immense * 
stores of spices, diamonds, and precious stuffs. "When they 
had pillaged the city, it might nave been believed, says an 
historian, that the warriors of the West had conquered 
Persia, Arabia, and the Indies. The ecclesiastics launched 
the thunders of excommunication against all who secreted 
any part of the booty ; but these menaces had no effect upon 
the cupidity of the soldiers : all the wealth brought to the 
public stock only produced two hundred thousand crowns, 
which were distributed among the troops of the victorious 

Damietta boasted a celebrated mosque, ornamented by six 
vast galleries and a hundred and fifty columns of marble, 
surmounted by a superb dome, which towered above all the 
other edifices of the city. This mosque, in which, on the 
preceding evening, Mussulmans had lifted their imploring, 
tearful eyes to their prophet, was consecrated to the virgin 
mother of Christ, and the whole Christian army came thither 
to offer up thanks to Heaven for the triumph granted to 
their arms. On the following day the barons and prelates 

* Ingredientibus nobis foetor intolerabilis, specttu misenLbilis ; mortai 
Tivos ocrideraot ; vir et uxor, dominiu et servus, pater et filins, se matuis 
foetoribas interemerant. Non solum platece erant mortuis plenie, sed in 
domibuB et cabicaUs et lectis jacebant defuncti ; exdncto viro, mulier 
impoteoa sargere, sublevandi carens subiddio vel solatione, putritudinem 
non ferens expiravit. Filius juxta patrem, vel e converso ; ancHla juxta 
domlnam, vel vice versA, languore deficiens jacebat extincta; parvuli 
petierunt panem, et non erat qui frangeret eis. Infantes ad obera matrum 
pendentes, inter amplexus morientium vocitaoant ; delicati divites^ inter 
acervos tritici interienint fame; deficientibus cibis, in quibus erant 
natriti, pepones et allia, cepas et alitilia, pisoes et volatilia, et fractna 
arborum, et olera frustra desiderantea. Maltitado vnlgi oontracta vel 
molestiis dintius fatigata deficiens arnit. — J, VUr. Hisi. Or, I. iii. 

HI8T0BT 01 THI 0KIT8ADX8. 251 

assembled in tlie same place, to deliberate upon their con- 
quest ; and, by a unanimous resolution, the city of Damietta 
was assigned to the Ung of Jerusalem. They then turned 
their attention to the iate of the unfortunate inhabitants 
who had escaped pestilence and famine. James of Yitri, 
when descrihing the miseries of Damietta, and speaking of 
the horrible famine which swept away so many families 
during the siege, sheds tears over the little children who in 
vain asked their dead parents for br^ad.* The fate of such of 
those as remained alive inspired the virtuous bishop of 
Ptolemais with pity, and he purchased many of them, in 
order to have them, baptized and brought up in the Christian 
religion. The pious charity of the prelate, however, could 
only procure them eternal life, for they almost all died after 
having been baptised. All the Mussulmans who had suffi- 
cient strength to work received liberty and bread, and were 
employed in cleansing and purifying the city. Whilst the 
leaders were thus watehing over a mourning city, and gave 
their anxious attentions to prevent new calamities, the spec- 
tacle that Damietta presented, and the empoisoned air they 
breathed within its walls, obliged the Christian army to 
return to their camp, and wait for the time at which the 
conquered city might be inhabited without danger. 

"When the news of the taking of Damietta was spread 
through Syria and Upper Egypt, the Mussulman nations, 
seized with terror, flew to then* mosques to implore the 
intervention of their prophet against the enemies of Islam- 
ism. The sultans of Cairo and Damascus sent anlbassadors 
to the caliph of Bagdad, conjuring him to exhort all true 
believers to take arms to defend the religion of Mahomet. 
The caliph contemplated with grief the calamities about to 
faU upon the princes of the family of Saladin ; but other 
dangers threatened him more nearly. Tartar hordes had 
issued from their mountains, invaded several provinces of 
Persia, and were advancing towards the Euphrates. The 
caliph, far from being able to assist the Mussulmans of Syria 

* M. Michand is acciued by some French critics of being too rhetorical 
-^in this instance he has not made his story so effective as he might baye 
done. If the reader will turn to the extract from Jamet qf Vitri, at the 
foot of the last page, he will find the old chronicler much more powerful 
than the modem lustorian. — ^T&ans. 


and Egypt hj bis prayers and exhortations, invoked their 
succour to defend his capital, and tiim aside the storm ready 
to burst over the whole East. "Wliei^ the Mussulman am- 
bassadors returned to Damascus and Cairo, their accounts 
added new alarms to those which the conquests of the 
Christians had already inspired. 

The Ayoubite princes, however, did not delay endeavouring 
to unite all their efforts against the Crusaders, postponing, to 
a more favourable moment, the defence of the head of 
Islamism. The Mussulman nations had a much greater 
dread of the invasion of the Christians than of the irrup- 
tions of the hordes of Tartary. The conquerors whom 
nations fear the most, are those thdt desire to change the 
laws and religion of the conquered country. The Tartars, 
whose habits and manners were not formed, easily complied 
with those of the people they subdued ; the Christians, on 
the contrary, only made war to destroy all and enslave all. 
Already rich cities, great provinces, were in their power : 
everything had changed its form under their domination. 
Thus the Mussulman princes and people, from the Euphrates 
to the Bed Sea, forgot or neglected the storm which growled 
over Persia and was advancing slowly towards Syria, and re- 
solved to take arms against the Crusaders, who were masters 
of the Nile. 

After the taking of Damietta, the Mussulman soldiers 
who defended Egypt were struck with such excessive fear, 
that, during several days, not one of them durst face a Chris- 
tian soldier. The Egvptian warriors who guarded the for- 
tress of Tannis, built beyond the lake Menzaleh, abandoned 
their ramparts at the approach of a f^w Crusaders, and thus 
one of the firmest bulwarks of the Mussulman empire fell 
without defence into the hands of the Franks. From that 
time, the Christians had reason to believe they had no more 
enemies on the banks of the Nile ; and, diuring the rigours 
of ^Tuiter, many of the pilgrims returned to !E£rope. Half 
the army tooK advantage of the March passage to quit 
Egypt ; such as remained imder the banners of the crusade 
forgot the labours and perils of war, and gave themselves up 
to mdulgence and voluptuousness, to all the pleasure which 
the approach of spring, and the fine dimate and beautiful 
sky of Damietta inspired. 


During the leisure of peace, the diriBions which had flO 
often interrupted the course of the war, soon revived ; the 
taking of Damietta had inflamed the pride of Cardinal 
Pelagius, who, in the Christian army, spoKe as a conqueror 
and commanded as a master. The kmg of Jerusalem was so 
dissatisfied, that he ahandoned a city uiat had been given to 
him, and quitted an armj of which he was the head, to 
retire to Ptolemais. 

New Crusaders, however, eaf er to signalize their valour 
against the Mussulmans, arrived daily. The duke of Bavaria, 
with four hundred German knights and barons, sent by 
Frederick II., landed on the banks of the Nile. A short 
time afterwards, the Christian army received into its ranks 
Crusaders from Milan, Pisa, and Genoa, and prelates and 
archbishops conducted a crowd of defenders of the cross, 
who came from the various provinces of Germany, and from 
Prance and Italy. The sovereign pontiff had neglected 
nothing to secure the success oi the holy war ; he sent 
to Cardinal Pelagius provisions for the army, and a con- 
siderable sum of money, partly from his own treasury, and 
partly from the charity of the faithful of the West.* The 
legate was desirous of profiting by the succours he had just 
received, and proposed to foUow up the war, and march 
directly against the capital of Egypt. The clergy adopted 
the advice of Pelaffius, but such of the Crusaders as saw 
with disgust a prelate at the head of warriors, refused to 
take up arms. The duke of Bavaria and the barons and 
knights would acknowledge no leader but the king of Jeru- 
salem ; the legate Pelagius was obliged to send deputies to 
John of Brienne, who, pressed by the pope himself, was at. 
length prevailed upon, and consented, after an absence of 
several months, to come back and take the command of the 

Whilst the Crusaders remained thus in inaction, all the 
Mussulmans were flying to arms : the sultans of Damascus 
and Aleppo, the princes of Hamah, Balbec, and of Arabia, 
assemblea fresh armies. After the taking of Damietta, the 
sultan of Cairo had retired, with his troops, to the spot where 

* Two letters which HonorivB wrote to Pelagins, when sending him the 
money » are stiil extant: tbej appear to ns to be very ooiioua, and merit a 
place in our Appendix. 


the two eastern branches of the Nile separate : there he daflr 
beheld troops of Mussulman warriors join his standard, and, 
awaiting a favourable opportunity, he constructed a palace in 
the centre of his camp, surrounded hj walls. 

The Mussulmans there built houses, baths, and bazaars, 
and the camp of the sultan became a citj, called Mansourah, 
which was destined to be celebrated in history by the defeat 
and ruin of the Christian armies. 

As soon as the king of Jerusalem returned to Damietta^ 
the leaders of the Crusaders assembled in council, to de- 
liberate upon what they had to do : the legate of the pope 
was the first to offer his opinion, and proposed to march 
against the capital of Egypt. " We must attack the evil at 
its source, and, in order to conquer the Saracens, destroy the 
foundation of their power. Egypt supplies them with sol- 
diers, provisions, and arms. By taking possession ofJEgypt, 
we should cut off all their resources. At no period were tne 
soldiers of the cross animated by more zeal ; never were the 
infidels more depressed. To lose such an opportunity was 
to betray the common cause. When a great empire was 
attacked, prudence commanded the assailants not to lay down 
their arms till they had subdued it ; by stopping after the 
first victory, they exhibited more weakness than moderation.. 
The eyes of the whole Christian world were upon the 
army of the Crusaders ; it was not only the deliverance of 
the holy places that was looked for firom their valour, but the 
death of all the enemies of Christ, the destruction of every 
nation that had imposed a sacrilegious yoke upon the city of 

The bishops, the prelates, and most of the ecclesiastics 
were loud in their applause of the speech of the legate ; but 
John of Brienne, who did not at all partake of their opinion, 
arose, and protesting his devotion to the cause of Christ, 
began by appealing to the assembly, if anj one could be more 
interested in the conquests of the Christians in the East, 
than the man who had the honour to be king of Jerusalem. 
He then pointed out how imprudent it wovdd be to go up 
the Nile at the very moment at which that river was begin- 
ning to overflow, and would most likely inundate the roads 
which led to Cairo. " Mark," said he, '' all the perils of the 
expedition proposed to you. We axe to mareh into an un- 

HI8T0BT 07 TUS CS17SADE8. 255 

known land, through the midst of an enemy's country : if 
conquered, there can be no place of asylum for us ; if con- 
querors, our victories will only weaken our army. However 
easy it may be for us to conquer provinces, it will be almost 
impossible for us to defend them. The Crusaders, always 
eager to return to Europe, are incalculably more serviceable 
in gaining battles than in securing the possession of con- 
quered countries. Nobody can suppose, that with the brave 
bands that surround us, we entertain any fear of the Mussul- 
man armies which are gathering together from all parts ; but 
in order to secure our safety, we must not only subdue our 
enemies, we must destroy them — we have not to deal wit!i 
an army, but with an entire nation animated by despair. 
The whole Mussulman race are about to become so many 
intrepid soldiers, impatient to shed their blood in the field of 
battle. But what do I say ? we shall have much less to dread 
from their courage than from their timid prudence. They 
will not fail to shun the fight, and will wait until diseases, 
want, fatigue, discord, the mconstancy of men*s minds, the 
overflowing of the Nile, and the heat of the climate shall 
have triumphed over our efibrts and secured the failure of 
all our enterprises." 

John of Brienne strengthened his opinion by other mo- 
tives, with which his knowledge of the art of war supplied 
him, and terminated his speech by saying, " That Damietta 
and Tannis were powerful enough to restrain the people of 
Egypt ; that it was necesjtary to recapture the cities they 
had lost, before they thought of conquering countries that 
had never been in their possession ; and that, in short, they 
had not assembled under the banners of the cross to besiege 
Thebes, Babylon, or Memphis, but to deliver Jerusalem, 
which opened its gates to the Christians, and which they 
could fortify against all the attacks of the infidels." 

This moderate and pacific language would well have be- 
come the mouth of an envoy of the pope; but Pelagius 
listened to the king of Jerusalem with the most evident im- 
patience : he answered, that weakness and timidity screened 
themselves behind the veil of moderation and prudence ; 
that Christ did noc summon to his defence such wise and 
far-sighted soldiers, but warriors who sought for battle 
rather than for reasons, and who could see the glory of an 


enterpriBe, and be blind to its dangers. The legate added 
several more reasons to those he had already adTanced, and 
expressed them with great bitterness ; at length, led awaj 
by the heat of the discussion, he threatened all those who 
did not partake of his opinions with excommunication. 
Most of the leaders, and the king of Jerusalem himself, 
fearing to be excommunicated, but dreading much more to 
see the least sus{)icion cast upon their braYery, at length 
yielded to the obstinate will of Pelagius : the council of the 
barons and the bishops decided that the Christian army 
should leave Damietta, and march against the capital of 

This army, composed of more than seventy thousand men, 
advanced up the banks of the Nile. A numerous fleet, laden 
with provisions, arms, and machines of war, ascended the 
river at the same time. The Christian army passed through 
Earescour and several other villages, that had been abandoned 
hy their inhabitants'; all fled away at the approach of. the 
Crusaders, who began to believe they should meet with no 
obstacle to their victories, and celebrated, beforehand, the 
conquest of Memphis and Cairo. The legate of the pope 
exulted in the resolution he had dictated to the Christian 
army ; and, Ml of confidence in a prediction that had been 
made concerning him in his youth, the presumptuous cardinal 
flattered himseU* that he was about to overthrow the worship 
of Mahomet ; and indulged in the most insulting railleries 
against those who had been opposed to the war. Without 
fighting a single battle, the Christians gained the extremity 
of the Delta, at the angle formed by the arm of the river 
which descends towards Damietta and the canal of Almon, 
whose waters flow into the sea on the eastern side. The 
Saracens were encamped in the plain of Mansourah, on the 
opposite bank of the river: the Crusaders halted on the 
hither shore, and their fleet cast anchor as near to them as 

The sultan of Damascus, and the princes of Aleppo, 
Balbec, Hamah, and Bosra, had imited their troops with 
those of the sultan of Cairo. The Nile, whose bimk was 
covered with intrenchments, presented a barrier very diffi- 
cult to be overcome. But Melic-Kamel did not dare to 
match himself with the Crusaders; dreading their raBh 


hnYery, bo aocustoioed to sport with perils and triumpli over 
all obstacles. Beports of the arrival of Frederick, and of 
the approach of the Tartars, kept the Mussulmans in a con- 
tinual state of alarm, and made them anxious to terminate a 
war which exhausted their resources, consimied their strength, 
and did sot promise them, even in victory, a compensation 
for so many efforts and so many sacrifices. 

Ambassadors were sent to propose peace to the leaders of 
the Christian army : the Mussulmans offered their enemies, 
if they would consent to an entire cessation of hostilities, to 
give up to them Damietta and its territories, and to restore 
•Terusalem, with all the places of Palestine that had been 
conquered by Saladin. 

These conditions assured to the Christians all the advan- 
tages of both war and peace. The king of Jerusalem, and 
most of the barons, who saw the difficulties and perils of the 
expedition they had entered upon, listened with as much 
surprise as joy to the proposals of the infidels, and did not 
hesitate to accept them ; but they had absolutely no power 
in the army. The legate, who exercised an arbitrary authority, 
and who was constantly dreaming of conquests, persisted in 
thinking that these pacific proposals were only the effects of 
fear, and that the enemy who sued for peace was the one 
with whom war should be prosecuted with most spirit. 

The ambassadors returned to the camp of the Mussulmans, 
to announce that the Christians refused the peace : their 
account excited indignation, and indignation roused courage. 
When the Ayoubite princes proposed peace, they were in 
possession of ample means to carry on the war with advan- 
tage; they every day received reinforcements, and their 
camp rapidly assumed a more formidable aspect ; but soon a 
terrible auxiliary, against whose attacks Pelagius had no de- 
fence, came to the assistance of the Mussulmans, and pro- 
cured them a complete triumph without either battles or 

l%e Christian warriors, who flattered themselves they 
had now only to deal with a conquered enemy, were satisfied 
with surrounding their camp with a ditch and a waQ ; the 
army remained for several days in this position, without 
making an effort either to attack the Saracens or jpass the 
Nile. Pelagius, who was confltantly promising victory to 
Vol. II.— 12 


his soldiers, remained, nevertheless, in a state of inactivity 
in his tent. During this period, many of the Crusaders 
grew weary of a war in which no battles were fought ; some 
fancied that the cause no longer stood in neea of their 
assistance ; whilst others, with more foresight, feared coming 
reverses : more than ten thousand Crusaders abandoned the 
camp and returned to Damietta. 

The Christian army had been for more than a month in 
face of the enemy, always in expectation of the victories 
that had been promised to them. At length, the overflowing 
of the Nile, in a most alarming manner, disturbed their 
imagined security. The Saracens opened, the sluices, and 
filled all the canals of Lower Egypt. The Mussulman fleet, 
which had not been able to ascend the Nile by Damietta, took 
advantage of .the canals, and came up with the Christian ships. 
In a single engagement, the vessels of the Crusaders were 
almost all dispersed and consumed by the Greek Are : from 
that moment terror seized upon the Christians, for they were 
in want of provisions, and had neither means nor hopes of 
obtaining any. The Saracens, after having crossed the Nile 
on bridges, occupied all the circumjacent hills. The Chris- 
tian soldiers wandered about the fields at hazard, pursued by 
the waves of the rising river, and by the Mussulmans, whose 
bravery they had so lately held in contempt. The whole 
army was on the point of being submerged or perishing with 
hunger, and had no hope but in the clemency of an enemy 
with whom they had recently refused to make peace. 

In this extremity, the king of Jerusalem and the principal 
leaders of the Christians sent several of their knights to offer 
the Saracens little ; but the latter were neither sufficiently 
imprudent, nor sufficiently generous to accept a proposal 
dictated by despair. The Crusaders were exhausted with 
hunger and fatigue ; the cavalry sunk into, and encumbered 
by mud and slime, could neither advance nor retreat ; the 
foot-soldiers ca«t away their arms ; the baggage of the army 
floated away upon the waters, and nothing was heard but 
groans and lamentations. " "When the Chnstian warriors," 
says an Arabian historian, " saw nothing before them but 
death, their minds sank into a state of despondency, and 
their backs bent beneath the rod of God, to wham be all 
prake /" 


FelagiuB must then hare been sensible of the full extent of 
his error : his project of marching to Cairo had, doubtless, 
something great in it, if it could have been executed ; but 
the presumptuous legate disdained all counsels, all lessons of 
experience, and foresaw none of the obstacles he was certain 
to meet with on his route ; he conducted an army filled with 
discontent ; the soldiers had neither that confidence nor that 
enthusiasm that leads men to brave dangers or cheerfully 
encounter fatigue. The king of Jerusalem, the diike of 
Bavaria, and a great number of the barons were his personal 
enemies, and took very little interest in the success of an 
enterprise of which they had disapproved. 

Amidst the cries and lamentations of an army to which he 
had promised victory, Pelagius was obliged to negotiate for 
peace, and his pride humbled itself so far as to implore the 
clemency of the Saracens. Christian ambassadors, among 
whom was the bishop of Ptolemaia, went to propose a capi- 
tulation to the conquerors ; they offered to give up the city 
of Damietta, and only asked for the Christian army liberty 
to return to Ptolemais. 

The Mussulman princes assembled in council to deliberate 
upon the proposals of the Crusaders. Some were of opinion 
they should be accepted ; others declared that all the Chris- 
tians ought to be made prisoners of war. Among those who 
proposed the harshest measures, the sultan of Damascus, an 
implacable enemy of the Franks, was conspicuous. " No 
treaty can be made," said he, "with warriors without 
humanity and without faith. We should remember their 
barbarities in war and their treachery in peace. They armed 
themselves to ravage provinces, to destroy cities, and over- 
throw the worship of Mahomet. Since iortune has placed 
these most cruel enemies of Islamism, these devastators of 
the East, in the hands of the true believers, we ought to im- 
molate them to the safety of the Mussulman nations, and 
take an advantage of our victory that will create a terror 
among the people of the West for ever." 

Most of the princes and emirs, animated by fanaticism 
and vengeance, applauded this violent speech. The sultan of 
Cairo, more moderate, and, doubtless, more prescient than 
the other leaders, dreading likewise the arrival of Frederick 
and the invasion of the Tartars, combated the opinion of 


tbe sultan of Damascus, and adyised that the capitulation of 
the Franks should be accepted. '' All the Enuika were not 
comprised in this army now in their power ; other Crusaders 
guarded Damietta, and might be able to defend it; the 
Mussulmans had sustained a siege of eight months, the 
Christians might hold out as long. It was more advan- 
tageous for the princes of the family of Saladin to return to 
their cities than to retain a few of their enemies in chains. 
If they destroyed one Christian army, the West, to avenge 
the defeat of its warriors, was able to send numberless 
legions into the East. They ought not to forget that the 
Mussulman armies had lost a portion of tlmt spirit of 
obedience and discipline that was the sole guarantee of vic- 
tory ; that they were Worn out with fatigue, and sighed for 
repose. Other enemies than the now disarmed C&3tians, 
other perils than those they had just escaped, might soon 
hang over both Syria and Egypt.* It was wise to make 
peace at this moment, in order to prepare for fresh contests, 
for new wars, perhaps much more cruel than that which they 
had now an opportunity of terminating with so much glory 
to the Mussulman arms." 

Tbe speech of Melik-Kamel brought back the princes of 
his family to sentiments of moderation.f The capitulation 
was accepted ; the sultan of Cairo sent his own son to the 
camp of the Christians as a pledge for his word. The king 
of Jerusalem, the duke of Bavaria, the legate of the pope, 
and the principal leaders repaired to the camp of the Sara- 
cens, and remainecL as hostages till the accomplishment of 
the treaty. 

When the deputies of the imprisoned army came to Ba- 

* The Chronicle of Ibn-ferat gives some details of this council of the 
Mussulman princes. The Western historians say nothing of it. It is a 
pity that James of Vitri, who was sent to the camp of the Saracens to 
propose the capitulation, should have preserved a profound silence upon 
so important a circumstance. We have several times remarked that the 
Arabian historians, when the Mussulmans experience reverses, content 
themselves with saying, *♦ God it great ; may God curse the Ckriitiant /" 
We find the same inconvenience in the Western historians, who are almost 
always silent when the Christians are conquered. 

t We cannot refrain from observing that the deliberations of the Mus- 
sulmans generally end in resolutions of moderation and mercy ; and that 
ta.'se of ibe Crusaders have, as ofteo, a very different regaU. — ^TlUNt. 


mietta and announced the disasters and captivity of the 
Christians, their account drew tears from the crowd of 
Crusaders who at that time arrived from the West. When 
these same deputies informed them that the city must he 
given up to the infidels, the most intrepid of the Franks 
could not restrain their iudignation, and refused to recog- 
nise a treaty so disgraceful to the soldiers of the cross. The 
greatest tumult prevailed throughout the city. Some, filled 
with despair, determined to return to Europe, and prepared 
to desert the banners of the cross ; others ran towards the 
ramparts, and getting possession of the towers, swore to 
defend them. 

A few days after, fresh deputies arrived to declare that the 
king of Jerusalem and the other leaders of the armv would 
be obliged to give up Ptolcma'is to the Mussulmans if they 
refused to surrender Damietta. In order to overcome the 
obstinate resistance of those who wished to defend the city, 
and who reproached tlie imprisoned army with disgracing 
the Christians, they added, that this army, though defeated, 
had obtained a prize worthy of their former exploits, for the 
Saracens had engaged to restore to them the true cross of 
the Saviour, which had fallen into the hands of Saladin at 
the battle of Tiberias. Tlie fear of losing Ptolemais, the 
hope of regaining the cross of Christ, together with the 
speeches of the deputies, brought back the spirit of peace 
and resignation to the minds of the most ardent of the 
Crusaders, and disposed them to the performance of the 
conditions of the treaty. 

In the mean time, the Christian array having lost their 
tents and their baggage, passed many days and many nights 
in a plain covered with the waters of the Nile. Hunger, 
disease, and inundation threatened their entire destruction. 
The king of Jerusalem, then in the camp of the Saracens, 
upon being informed of the horrible distress of the Chris- 
tians, went to conjune Mclik-Kamel to have pity on his 
disarmed enemies. The continuator of AVilliam of Tyre, 
who is our guide in this part of our history, reports, in his 
old, quaint language, the touching interview between John 
of Brienne and the sultan of Eg}^pt. " The king sat down 
before the sultan, and began to weep ; the sultan, on seeing 
tlie king weep, said, * Sire, why do you weep ?* ' Sire, I 

262r niSTOBT OF ths crusades. 

have good cause,' replied the king, * for I heboid the people 
whom Gk)d has confided to me perishing amidst the waters, 
and dying with hunger.* The sultan felt great pity at seeing 
the king weep, and he wept also ; then he sent thirty thou- 
sand loaves to the poor as well as the rich ; and sent the 
same quantity daily during four days." * 

Melik-Kamcl caused the sluices to be closed, and the 
waters rapidly retired from the plaiu ; as soon as Damietta 
was surrendered to the Mussulmans, the Christian army 
began its retreat. The Crusaders, who owed their liberty 
and lives to the mercy of the Saracens; passed through the 
city which had cost them so many conflicts and so much 
labour ; and, weeping, quitted the banks of the Nile, where 
so short a time before they had sworn to make the cause of 
Christ triumphant. They bore away in sadness the wood of 
the true cross, the identity of which they had reason to 
suspect, since it no longer performed miracles, and was not 
for the^n now the signal ol victory. The sultan of Egypt 
caused them to be accompanied by his son, who had orders 
to provide for all their wants on their route. The Saracen 
leaders were impatient to get rid of an army that had threat- 
ened their empire ; they could scarcely give credit to their 
own triumph, and some little apprehension was, no doubt, 
mingled with the pity with which their conquered enemies 
inspired them. 

Great rejoicings had been made at Ptolemais for the vic- 
tories obtained by the Christians on the banks of the Nile ; 
thev believed that they already saw the holy places delivered, 
ana the empire of the Saracens destroyed. Consternation 
took place of their joy on seeing the army return. As in 
all the other reverses which their arms had met with, the 
Christians mutually reproached each other with their defeat; 
they accused the leaders of ambition, and the king of Jeru- 
salem of weakness ; the Templars and Hospitallers, who had 

* As translation can scarcelj do justice to this touc]iing little morceau, 
I subjoin the original. — Trans, he roi s'assit devanc le sondan, et so 
mist & plorer; le soodan regarda le roi qui ploroit, et lui dist : " Sire, 
pourquoi plorez vous ?" " Sire, j'ai raison," repondit le roi, " car jc void le 
people dont Dex m'a chargi6, perir au milieu de I'eve et mourir de faim." 
Le tottdan eut piti^ de ce qu'il vit le roi plorer, si ploraaussi ; lors envoya 
trente mille pains as psuvres et as riches ; ainsi leur envoya qnatre jours 
de suite. 


on all oocasions set aa example of courage and the most 
generous devotedness, were obliged to make a public apology 
for their conduct. "VVhen it became known in the West that 
Damietta had fallen again into the hands of the Saracens, all 
the faithful were affected by the deepest grief,* and sought, 
by their prayers, to mitigate the anger of Heaven. Violent 
murmurs arose against the legate Pelagius, and represented 
him to the sovereign pontiff as the author of all the disasters 
of the crusade ; but Honorius was not willing to condemn 
his minister, and reproached Frederick, who had three times 
renewed his vow to light against the infidels, with having 
remained an idle spectator of an unfortunate war, and with 
having neglected to succour his brethren of the East. 

Erederick, who had sent vessels, provisions, and soldiers 
to the holy war, thought that he had iully performed his part 
in the crusade, and was at first much astonished at the 
reproaches of the Holy See. When the pope threatened 
him with the anger of Heaven and the thunders of Bome, 
he could not restrain his indignation; in his letters the 
emperor complains bitterly of the tyranny of both Innocent 
ana Honorius, and talks of o^posmg war to war, and ven* 
geance to injustice. After this, Honorius, who acted less 
from the dictates of his own mind than after the policy of 
his predecessors, changed his tone, attempted to justify both 
Innocent and himselt, and, employing prayers instead of 
menaces, conjured Frederick to have pity on the Church of 
the East. 

This paternal language appeased Frederick ; in an inter- 
view winch he had with the pope at Veroli, the emperor of 
Germany repeated his vow to repair to Palestine at the head 
of an army. In another assembly, which was held some 
time afterwards at Verona, the pope endeavoured to engage 
Frederick, on accoimt of his own interests ; he proposed to 
him to espouse Yolande, daughter of John of Brienne, and 
heir to tne kingdom of Jerusalem. The grand masters of 
the Templars, the l^ospitallers, and the Teutonic order, with 
the patriarch and the king of Jerusalem, all summoned to 
Italy to deliberate on the i^airs of the crusade, approved of 
a union which would secure them the assistance of a powerful 

* Muratori has preaerred a little elegaic poem in Latin, upon tho 
taking of Damietta. — See SeripL Rer, Hal, vol. vii. p. 992. 


monarch. Prederick accepted a kingdom nrhicb he promised 
to defend, and consented to undergo excommunication if he 
{aOed in his promises. 

After the conference ofYerona, King John of Brienne 
visited the principal states of Europe, lor the purpose of 
soliciting aicl for the Holy Land. At the time of John's 
arrival in France, the French were mourning the death of 
Philip Augustus. The king of Jerusalem assisted at the 
fimeral ceremonies of his master and benefactor, who, at his 
death, had bequeathed three thousand silver marks to the 
defenders of Palestine. After having paid the last duties 
to Philip, John went first to Englxmd, and afterwards to 
Germany, in both of which coimtncs his presence and his 
discourses strongly moved Christians with the misfortunes 
of the Holy Land. 

The emperor Frederick, on his part, made all the requisite 
preparations for an expedition which he was to lead in per- 
son ; he ordered vessels to be constructed in all the ports of 
Sicily for transporting the Crusaders. " Heaven and earth," 
wrote he to the pope, " are witnesses that I desire the suc- 
cess of the Christian arms with my wholp soul, and that I 
will neglect nothing that can assist in securing the success 
of the holy enterprise." In all his letters Frederick ex- 
horted the sovereign pontiflf to emplov every means to aug- 
ment the numbers of the soldiers of Christ. Become, all 
at once, more zealous for the crusade than the pope himself 
he reproached the court of Eome with being sparing in in- 
dulgences, and with confiding the preaching of the crusade 
to vulgar orators ; he advised the pope to redouble his efforts 
to appease the quarrels of Christian princes, and to compel 
the kings of France and England to sign a peace, in order 
that the nobles and people of these two kmgdoms might 
take part in the crusade. Frederick not being able to go 
into Germany, sent thither the grand master of the Teu- 
tonic order, with directions to exhort the landgrave of 
Thuringia, the duke of Austria, the king of Hungary, and ■ 
the other princes of the empire, to take the oath to fight 
against the infidels. He undertook to furnish the Crusaders 
with vessels, provisions, arms, and everything necessary for 
the expedition beyond the sea; in short, he displayed so 
much activity, and showed so much ardour and zead, tnat all 


the attention of the Christians was directed towards him, 
and he was considered as the soul, the moving principle, and 
the head of the holy enterprise. 

The Christians of Palestine placed all their hopes in him ; 
the patriarch of Alexandria, in a letter to the pope, said that 
they looked for the emperor of Germany on the banks of the 
Kile and the Jordan, as formerly the sainU had looked for 
the coming of the Mea$iah or Saviour of the world. The 
patriarch spoke with grief of the oppression and servitude 
that had been inflicted upon the Christians established in 
Egypt since the last invasion of the Crusaders. The unfor- 
tunate disciples of Christ were not allowed to keep in their 
dwellings either arms or horses, nor eyen to bear a crucifix 
at the funeral processions of their relations ; a hundred and 
fifteen of their churches had been destroyed since the con- 
quest of Damietta. Oppressed by tributes,* condemned to 
disgraceful labours, bamshed £rom their homes, wandering 
around their temples and their altars, they invoked the 
mercy of Heaven and the valour of the warriors of the West 
for their deliverance. 

The report of Frederick's preparations was spread even 
to the remote nations of Georgia ; and the queen of that 
country wrote to the head of the Church of Some, that the 
constable of her kingdom and a great number of warriors 
only waited for the arrival of the emperor of Germany, to 
fly to the assistance of Palestine. The Georgians had the 
reputation of being a warlike people, and were dreaded by 
the Mussulmans; their pilgrims enjoyed the privilege of 
entering Jerusalem without paying the tribute imposed 
upon other Christians. When the sultan of Damascus 
caused the ramparts of the holy city to be destroyed, the 
warriors of Georgia swore to avenge the outrage committed 
on the city of God ; but an invasion of the Tartars pre- 
vented them from leaving their own territories.f Since that 

* See the letter of the patriarch of Alexandria, in the Appendix. The 
patriarch, at the end of his letter, girea the pope lome remarkable opiniona 
upon the manner in which the emperor and the Crusaders were to arrive 
in Egypt. 

t The letter of the qneen of Georgia is to be fonnd in the continuator 
of Baronius, under the year 1224. Carious details of the manners of the 
Georgians in the thirteenth century may likewise be found in Jamei of 
Vitri, Hi$t. OrieiU. 



period, the hordes of Tartary having directed their ravages 
towards other countries, the Crusaders of Caucasus and the 
shores of the Caspian Sea promised to unite themselves in 
the plains of Syria and Egypt, with the Crusaders fipom the 
banks of the Ehine and the I)anube. 

Frederick, however, was not yet in a position to perform 
his so often repeated promises ; the kingdom of Sicily and 
Naples contained ^erms of discori and rebellion ; the re- 
publics of Lombardy were openly opposed to the emperor 
of Q-ermany ; and the Holy See, which observed with anxiety 
the ambitious projects of Fre'derick upon Italy, encouraged 
all the enemies of a power of which it dreaded the too close 
neighbourhood. Thus, the policy of the court of Rome, 
the revolts of Sicily, and the enterprises of the Italian 
republics, would not allow the emperor to lead his armies 
into Asia. Frederick demanded of the pope the indulgence 
of a delay of two years for the performance of his vow; 
founding his request upon the length of time required for 
assembling his armies, and declared that he was not willing 
to begin the war before the expiration of the truce made 
with the Mussulmans ; thus shoeing much more respect for 
treaties with infidels, than had till that time been common 
among Christians, indeed, more respect than he had himself 
shown. The pope, although much dissatisfied, could not 
refuse the delay the emperor demanded ; he, however, dis- 
sembled his anger, and contented himself with requiring 
fresh promises, which were made, as all the rest had been, 
with the greatest solemnity. 

The new vows of Frederick were strengthened by hia 
marriage -with the heir of the king of Jerusalem. The mar- 
riage was celebrated at Rome, amidst the benedictions of the 
clergy and the acclamations of the people ; all the Christians 
of the West hoard of it with joy, and this union appeared 
to them to be the most certain pledge of the victories the 
Crusaders would gain over the infidels. John of Brienne, 
who assisted at the ceremony, congratulated himself upon 
having obtained an emperor for a son-in-law and a supporter ; 
but his joy was not of long duration. Frederick, after his 
marriage, only saw in him the brother of that Gauthier de 
Brienne, who had borne the title of king of Naples and 
Sicily ; he considered him as an enemy to hb power, a dan- 


gerous riral, and be disputed the possession of the kingdom 
of Jerusalem with him. The pope was secretly pleased at 
this claim or pretension, as he noped it would promote the 
interests of the crusade. Honorius was delighted to see the 
ambition of the emperor mix itself up with the great designs 
for the execution of which he was so anxious. Frederick 
was therefore acknowledged king of Jerusalem. Thus John 
of Brienne, who had always proved himself the most ardent 
apostle of the holy war, deprived of his crown, and from 
that time a stranger to the affairs of Palestine, was obliged 
. to wait in retirement and silence for a favourable opportunity 
to avenge himself on his son-in-law, and recover his kingdom. 
Frederick carried on his preparations for the holy war, 
and appeared more than ever disposed to set out tor the 
East. The crusade was preached, in the name of the head 
of the Church, in all the kingdoms of Europe ; the sovereign 

Sontiff wrote to the princes to exhort them to suspend their 
ivisions and occupy themselves solely with the war beyond 
the sea. 

As hostilities had just been renewed between England and 
France, Honorius ordered Louis VIII. to lay down his arms, 
and threatened him with excommunication, if he did not 
immediately make peace. The king of France, before he 
obeyed the orders of the pope, was desirous of completing 
the conquest of Poitou ; and whilst the thunders or Bome 
w^ere growling over his head, the people and clergy were 
returning Heaven thanks for his victories, in every church 
of his kingdom. 

The war against the English was not the only obstacle to 
the departure of the French Crusaders for the Holy Land ; 
the exterminating crusade against the Albigeois was still 
going on, and Louis VIII. took a more active interest in it 
than his father Philip had done. When Louis VIII. had 
concluded a truce with England, he at length resolved to 
take the cross, and made a vow, not to go and fight against 
the^ Saracens in Asia, but against the heretics in Languedoc. 
In this crusade the king of France had the double advantage 
of scarcely going out of his own territories, and of making 
conquests that might some day enlarge his kingdom. The 
lords and barons followed Louis into the southern provinces, 
and thought no more about the deliverance of JeruiBalem. 


At the same time the envoys of the pope and the emperor 
were busy in exhorting the nations of Ghermanj to snccour 
the Chnstians of Palestine. Their orations, which at first 
had great success, ended hj diminishing both confidence and 
enthusiasm. As the pope had recommended the preachers 
to be prodigal of the mdulgences of the Church, the people 
beheld mth astonishment the greatest criminals take the 
cross, and swear to expiate their sins by the holy pilgrimage. 
They remembered that St. Bernard had called thieves and 
murderers to the defence of Christ; but opinions and 
morals began to change, and that which had succeeded in , 
the preceding century was now only a source of reproach. 
The monk of XJpsberg, a contemporary author, informs us 
that the facility granted to the most vicious of mankind to 
redeem their crimes by taking up arms and the cross, only 
served to increase ^at offences, and cool the zeal of the 
true defenders of Christ * 

The orators who preached the crusade in England gathered 
more fruit from their labours, but owed great part of their 
success to celestial phenomena, which came very opportunely 
to second their eloquence. A luminous crucifix, with the 
marks of the five ^^ounds of the Saviour, appe&red suddenly 
in the heavens. This miraculous spectacle greatly inflamed 
the enthusiasm of the people ; and, if we may believe Mat- 
thew Paris, more than sixty thousand English took the 
oath to arm themselves for the deliverance of the tomb of 

Spain was constantly the seat of a sanguinary war 
between the Moors and the Christians ; the one yarly sup- 
ported hj warriors from Africa, the other by knights and 
soldiers from the provinces of France, fought battles every 
day without destroying their means of either attack or 
defence : ^ amidst such wars, in which, by turns, Mahomet 
and Christ were invoked, Spain was not likely to hear or 
attend to the complaints and appeals of Jerusalem. 

Another enthusiasm than that of the crusades, — an ardent 
desire for liberty, — then agitated the finest countaies of Italy. 
The greater part of the cities, acted upon by jealousy and 

* The Chronicle of Upsberg attributes the murder of the respectable 
Engelberfc, archbishop of Maience, to this indulgence of the preachers of 
the crusade. 


tbe other passioDS of republics, were all at war among them- 
aelves ; fighting eometimes for territory, and sometunes for 
independence. In all these small states, parties attacked and 
pursued each other with fury, and disputed the exercise of 
power, sword in hand. Some of the cities, principalities, 
and baronies invoked the authority of the pope, others that 
of the emperor of Germany ; the factions oi the Guelphs 
and the Ghibellines troubled everv city, and created divisions 
in most families. These discords and ciril wars naturally 
turned the attention of Christian nations from the crusades. 
The cities of Lombardy had formed a powerful confe- 
deracy, which ffave Frederick continual caiise of inquietude, 
and detained nim in the West ; Honorius employed every 
means in his power to re-establish peace, and direct men's 
minds towards his darling object ; and at last succeeded in 
getting the Lombard republics to ioin the emperor of Ger- 
many for the deliverance of the holy places. 

Although the people hod lost some portion of their enthu- 
siasm for the holy war, it was still possible to form a redoubt- 
able army, by gathering together all the warriors that had 
taken the cross in the various countries of Europe ; and the 
new Crusaders were ordered to meet at the port of Brindisi, 
where vessels were being prepared to transport them to the 
East. On their arrival in the kingdom of Naples, the em- 
peror of Germany supplied them with provisions and arms ; 
evejything was ready, and the pope was about, at length, to 
see his wishes accomplished, and receive the reward of all 
his labours and preachings, when inexorable death deprived 
Christendom of its head. 

Gregory IX., who succeeded him, had all the abilities, the 
virtues, and the ambition of Innocent III. In the execution 
of his designs, he feared neither difficulties nor perils; the most 
violent measures had no terrors for his obstinacy or audacity, 
when the triumph of his will was in question. Gregory had 
scarcely ascended the pontifical throne, when the preparations 
for the holy war engrossed all his thoughts, and became the 
principal object of his active solicitude. 

The Crusaders assembled in Apulia had much to suffer 
from the influences of the climate and the season ; the sove- 
reign pontiff neglected nothing to alleviate their distresses 
and hasten their departure. lie exhorted the emperor to 


embark, hj saying to him, " The Lord has pliused ^ou in this 
'world as a cherubim with a flaming sword, to direct those 
who stray from the way of the tree of life." Frederick at 
length yielded to the prayers of the pope, and sailed from 
the port of Brindisi with his fleet pnd army. Prayers were 
being put up for the prosperity of his Toyage and the success 
of his expedition, in all the provinces of his empire, when, 
at the end of thi^ days, being attacked by the malady that 
had made such ravages in the Christian army, he retraced 
his course, and landed in the port of Otranto. 

Gregory had celebrated the departure of Frederick as a 
triumph of the Church; he considered his return as an 
absolute revolt against the Holy See. The little city of 
Agnani, to which the pope had retired, witnessed the rage of 
the pontifl*, and beheld the birth of that formidable storm 
which so long diBturbcd the Christian world. Accompanied 
by the cardinals and several bishops, Gregoiy repaired to the 
principal church, and having mounted the pulpit, before the 
assemoled people, he pronounced a sermon which had for its 
text, *^ It is necessary that scandals should arise." Afler 
having called upon the prophets, and spoken of the triumph 
of St. Michael over the dragon, he launched against Frede- 
rick all the anathemas of the Church. 

The emperor at first sent messengers to the pope to ex- 
plain and justify his conduct ; but the inexorable Gregoiy 
refused to listen to them, and complained to all the sove- 
reigns of Europe, representing Frederick as a faithless and 
perjured prince. He accused him of having consigned his 
in& Yolande to close imprisonment, in which she died oi 
grief; of having left the Crusaders to perish with hunger, 
thirst, and heat in the plains of Apulia ; and of having, at 
last, under the frivolous pretext of sickness, violated his oath 
and deserted the banners of Christ, in order to return to the 
cuitomary ef^oyments of hie kingdom. He made him many 
other reproaches ; and in his anger called down upon him 
the maledictions of all Christians. 

Frederick, exceedingly irritated, replied to the accusations 
of Gregory with much bitterness. In his apology, which 
he sent to all the princes of Christendom, he complained 
strongly of the usurpations of the Holy See, and exposed, in 
the nM)fit odious colours, the policy ana ambitious designs of 


the court of Borne. '* The Churcli of Borne," said be, " sendis 
legates eveiywhere, tnth power to punish, to suspend, and 
excommunicate, not toith the designs of spreading the word of 
Ood, hut to heap up money, and reap that which thev have not 
sown.^' The emperor reminded the princes, in his letters, of 
the violences which the pope had exercised agauist the count 
of Thoulouse and the king of England ; he said that the 
domains of the clergy did not now satisfy the ambition of 
the Holy See, and that the sovereign pontiffs wished to lay 
their hands upon every kingdom. Prom that moment open 
war was declared between the pope and the emperor ; neitner 
of them possessed a pacific character or a love of quiet ; 
both were animated by boundless ambition, jealous to excess 
of their power, implacable in their revenge, and always ready 
to employ the arms which the Chiurch or fortime placed in 
their hands. Gregory displayed an indefatigable activity, 
leaving his enemies no repose, but pursuing them at the 
same time with the thunders of religion and war. In addi- 
tion to the arms of eloquence, the pontiff did not disdain to 
emplov satire ; the manifestoes which he published against 
his adversaries constantly recalled the spirit of the denun^ 
ciations made bv the prophets^ These denunciations, mixed 
with obscure aUegones, gave to his words a dark and mys- 
terious tone, which caused him to be considered as the inter- 
preter of angry Heaven. Frederick was neither a less 
able prince nor a less redoubtable enemy : the art of war 
contained no stratagems or secrets with which he was un- 
acquainted; policy dictated no means that he scrupled to 
employ. Endowed with all the giils of mind, and with a 
keen spirit of raillerv, he was as competent to confound his 
enemies in a discussion, as to conquer them in the field of 
battle. Descended, on the female side, from those famous 
Kormans who had conquered Sicily and the kingdom of 
Naples, he united, as they had done, courage with subtlety, 
and audacity with dissimulation : to please the court of 
Borne, he had made barbarous laws against heretics ; and, « 
now become the enemy of the popes, he did not fear to arm 
heretics or Saracens against the court of Borne. When 
the kingdom of Jerusalem was offered to him, he set no 
ereat viJue upon the acquisition ; but he accepted^ it with 
joy, in order to increaBe his popularily in the Christiaii 


world, and to arm himself^ one day, aeunst the sovereign 
pontiff with a title, which was then held in universal vene- 

A war between such enemies must necessarily prove ter- 
rible, and spread desolation and confusion throughout Chris- 
tendom. Gregory, on his return to Some, repeated his 
excommunications in the church of St. Peter ; Frederick, 
in order to revenge himself, seduced into his party most of 
the Boman nobles, who took up arms, insulted the sovereign 
pontiff at the very foot of the altar, and compelled him to 
abandon the capital of the Christian world. The pope, 
driven from his states, pursued his enemy with more fury 
than ever ; and, availing himself of the formidable authority 
of the Church, he released the subjects of Frederick from 
their oath of fidelity, by reminding them that they could 
owe no obedience to those who opposed themselves to God 
and his saints. On his side, Frederick drove the Templars 
and Hospitallers from the kingdom of Naples, plunderea the 
churches, and ill-treated all ecclesiastics whom he suspected 
of being attached to the party of the Holy See. He sent 
troops to ravage the patnmony of St. Peter, and enlisted 
the Saracens established in Sicily, under the banners of a 
Christian prince, to combat the head of the Christian church. 
The Boman states were ravaged, and given up to the hor- 
rors of war. The eyes of all Europe were fixed upon these 
deplorable scenes, and every one seemed to have forgotten 
the holy war. 

The Christians of Palestine, however, never ceased to im- 
plore aid from the West. A letter to the pope from the 
Eatriarch of Jerusalem, the bishops of C»sarea and Bethle- 
em, and the grand masters - of the three military orders, 
painted in strong colours the despair into which the Chris- 
tians of the East had fallen, when they learnt that Frederick 
had deferred his departure. The pope received their com- 
plaints with expressions of sorrow and kindness, and com- 
• municated them to the faithful with greater zeal, from their 
furnishing him with a fresh opportunity of accusing the 
emperor of Germany. But the nations of the West, occu- 
pied with their own dangers, and terrified at the sight of the 
violent *storms that had recently burst forth, were not in the 
least moved by either the lamentatioiui from Palestine or 


the jjiessing exhortations of Gregory. In this unfortnnate 
position of fhiropean affairs, the Christian colonies, ahan- 
doned to themselves and their own feeble resources, and a 
pre^ to the greatest disorders, must have been inraded and 
entirely destroyed, if Providence had not stirred up fresh 
discords among their enemies. 

During the siege of Damietta, the common danger had 
united the children of M)^k-Adcl ; after victory, ambition 
resumed the place of fear ; and the Ayoubite princes quar- 
relled for the provinces which their umon had wrested from 
the power, or saved from the invasion of the Christians. 
Conraddin, sultan of Damascus, dreading the views of 
Melik-Kamel, called Gelaleddin, prince of the vast empire 
of Carismia, to his aid. The smtan of Cairo, in great ap« 
prehension of the consequences of this alliance, turned his 
eyes towards the princes of the "West. During several 
years, the report alone of the preparations of Frederick had 
been a source of terror to the Mussulman powers. The 
emperor of Germany was considered, in the East, as the 
head of all the nations of Europe. The sultan of Egypt 
attached the greatest importance to the disarming of a for- 
midable enemy ; and as the complaints of the pope, and the 
report of the discords that had broken out among the Chris- 
tians, had reached his ears, he conceived a hope of finding 
in Frederick a sincere ally and a powerful auxiliary.* 

Melik-Kamel sent presents and ambassadors to the 
emperor of G^ermany; ne invited Frederick to come into 
the East, and promised to deliver Jerusalem up to him. 
This proposition gave the emperor as much surprise as 
joy ; and he, in reply, sent an ambassador into E^;ypt, to 
ascertain the exact intentions of the sultan of Cairo, and 
offer him his friendship. The envoy of Frederick was 
received at the court of the sultan with the greatest 
honours, and returned to announce to his master that Melik- 
Kamel was ready to favour his expedition to Palestine. 

* These details, unknown to all the historians of the West, are related 
by Abulfeda and the greater part of the Arabian historians who treat of 
the events of this period. The same authors name the Mussulman envoy 
* Fakr-eddin ; they disfigure the name of Frederick's envoy, and say that 
this prince selected for this mission the person who had beoi his 
gofernor in bis childhood. 


This negotiation, with whicli the pope and the Christiazis 
of the West were perfectly unacquainted, made Frederick 
determine to follow up the project of the crusade : he had, 
besides, several other motives for not renouncing the 
Eastern enterprise. He knew that John of Brienne was 
on the point of returning to Palestine, and resuming pos- 
session of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The pope continued 
to represent him as the enemy of Christ, and the scourge 
of Christians. To secure the failure of the plan of John 
of Brienne, and, at the same time, reply to the sovereign 
pontiff in a victorious manner, Frederick resolved to embark 
tor the Holy Land. He was desirous of proclaiming his 
intention with the greatest pomp ; and caused a magnincent 
throne to be erected in the plam of Barletta, which he 
ascended in the presence of an immense crowd of spectators. 
In all the splendour of imperial magnificence, he presented 
himself invested with the pilgrim's cross, and announced to 
the assembled people that ne was about to set out for Syria. 
In order to give more solemnity to this pompous ceremony, 
and affect the hearts of the multitude, the emperor caused 
his will to be read with a loud voice ; and the barons and 
nobles swore at the foot of the throne, to see that his last 
commands should be executed, if he should chance to lose 
his hfe, either in the perils of the sea or ..the wars of the 

"When the pope learnt this determination of Frederick's, 
he sent ecclesiastics to forbid him to embark. The sove- 
reign pontiff reproached the emperor with presenting to the 
Christian world the scandal of a crusade directed by a prince 
reproved of Qod: as the fleet of Frederick consisted of 
only twenty galleys, and as he took with him only six hun- 
dred knights, Grregory reproached him with not having ful- 
filled his promises, and compared his imprudent attempts to 
the expedition of a captain of pirates. The emperor did 
not condescend to make any reply to the messengers of the 
pope ; the more opposition the head of the Church gave to 
his departure, the more impatient Frederick appeared to set 
out and accomplish his design : in his indignation, he con- 
gratulated himself at having to brave the anger of the 
Church and the arms of the Saracens at the same time. He 
left the greater part of his army in Sicily ; charging lus 


lieutenant, the duke of Spoleto, to negotiate for peace with 
the pope, but at the same time to carry on the war com- 
menced against the Boman states with unabated vigour. 

When he heard of the departure of the emperor, Gregory- 
was in the little city of Assisi, occupied in the canonization 
of St. Francis. During several days, he had sung nothing 
but hymns of hope and joy : " Francis," said he, " had ap- 
peared like the star of morning, like the orb of day, like the 
moon in its splendour." This language of peace, this fes- 
tive pomp, were all at once interrupted by the maledictions 
that the pope pronounced against Frederick : the sovereign 
pontiff repaired to the foot of the altar, and there implored 
Heaven to confound the pride of impious monarchs, and 
frustrate all their sacrilegious enterprises. 

The emperor, notwithstanding, arrived safely on the coast 
of Syria, and was received at Ptolemajs by the patriarch, 
the clergy, and the grand masters of the military orders. 
For some days, the Christians of the East viewed him as 
the liberator and the king of Jerusalem; but a change 
speedily took place. Two disciples of St. Francis, sent by 
the pope, came to announce to the faithful that they had 
received a prince rebellious to the will of the Church. iFrom 
that moment, contempt, hatred, and mistrust took place of 
respect and submission. They began by perceiving that 
Frederick was followed by only a smaU number of warriors, 
and that he had not troops enough to render him formidable 
to either the Saracens or the Christians. Nothing was 
talked of in Ptolemais but the excommunication of the 

S>pe, and the means of withdrawing themselves from obe- 
ence to a heretic prince: never had the deliverance of 
Jerusalem been less thought of. 

At the moment in which Frederick arrived in Syria, 
Conraddin, sultan of Damascus, died ; and the death of^^this 
prince gave birth to more discords among the Mussulman 
powers. The principality of Damascus was governed by a 
jroung inexperienced prince ; and the spirit of license and 
insubordination, which had, in the last wars, been already 
observed among the troops of Syria and Egypt, made, every 
day, greater progress, and put all the Mussulman thrones in 

The sultan of Cairo, when informed of the arriTal of 


Frederick, came into Palestme, at the bead of an army. 
Some asserted that he came to defend Jerusalem, and to 
fight with the Christians ; but his true design was to take 
advantage of the chances of war, and of the discords which 
everywhere prevailed, to get possession of Damascus, and 
defeat the plans of the enemies that jealousy and ambition 
had raised up against him among the Mussulmans and 
princes of his family. 

The emperor of Grermany marched out of Ptolemais, at 
the head of his small army, and directed his course towards 
the mountains of Naplouse. He had sent Count Thomas 
de Celano to Melik-Kamel, to remind him of his promises, 
and to tell him, that, being master of the most vast provinces 
of the West, he was not come into Asia for the purpose of 
making conquests ; that he had no other design but that of 
visiting the holy places, and taking possession of the king- 
dom of Jerusalem, which belonged to him.* The sultan 
received the ambassador of Frederick with due respect; 
but whether he was ashamed to make peace before he had 
begun the war, or whether he feared to draw upon himself 
the hatred of the Mussulmans, by showing too much defer- 
ence for a Christian prince, he at first made no reply to the 
propositions that were made to him. 

Nevertheless the two princes sent firesh ambassadors, 
charged on both sides to express a desire for peace ; both 
were placed in embarrassing circumstances, being surrounded 
by enemies who blamed their proceedings, and did not allow 
them to publish all their sentiments freely. The Mussul- 
man army from Damascus, encamped in the neighbourhood 
of Jerusalem, watched all the movements of the sultan of 
Egypt, and seemed much more disposed to fight with him 
than to repulse the Christians. The emperor of Germany 
found himself in the presence of two hostile armies, and that 
which he himself commanded inspired him with no more 
confidence than he inspired in it. The Hospitallers and 
Templars had left him, and followed him at a distance ; in 
the camp of the Christians no one durst pronounce the 

* Th$ pemsal of Arabian authors throws great light upon this part of 
"the history of the crusades; the continuator of William of Tyre, the 
letters of the patriarch of Jerusalem, or the correspondenoe of the pope, 
give but very incomplete information. 


ntme of the prince who commanded the axmy. Frederick 
hiid been obhged to withdraw the standard of the empire, 
and his orders were only issued to the soldiers of the cross 
in the name of God and of the Christian republic. 

In this difficult situation, Frederick and Melik-Kamel 
were equaJlj sensible of the necessity for peace, and of the 
danger of commencbg war ; they therefore gaye more em- 
ployment to their ambassadors tnan to their soldiers ; this 
crusade was nothing but a long negotiation, disapproved of 
by both Christians and infidels. As the two soyereigna 
covered their policy with a veil of profound mystery, it was 
easy for hatred to spread and procure countenance for sinis- 
ter reports. Crimmal intentions were discovered in the 
simplest actions. In the Christian army it was conceived 
that Frederick had committed a crime by sending his sword 
and cuirass to the sultan of Cairo, as a pledge of his wish 
for peace, ^mong the Mussulmans, Melik-Elamel was re« 
preached with seeking an alliance with the enemies of 
Islamism, by sending to the leader of the Franks an ele- 

?hant, some camels, and the rarest productions of Arabia, 
ndia, and Egypt. The scandal reached its height when the 
emperor received as a present from the sultan of Cairo, a 
troop of girls, brought up, according to the custom of the 
Orientab, to sing and dance in the banqueting-hall. 

At length prejudices were carried so far on both sides, 
that Fre&rick was judged more favourably of by his ene- 
mies than by his own army; and Melik-Kamel would sooner 
have found grace among the Christians than atnong his own 
troops. The infidels regarded, the emperor of Germany as a 
prince full of wisdom and moderation ; Abulfeda, and all the 
Arabian authors, have celebrated the qualities and virtues of 
the monarch of the Franks, whilst the continuator of Wil- 
liam of Tyre only speaks of this prince with bitterness, and 
reports in his history, that all the apostles and other Chris- 
tians had great doubt and great suspicion that he was far 
gone in infidelity, and warm in his belief in the law of 

Hatred soon broke out in acts of treachery and the most 
odious plots. As the emperor had expressed an intention of 
going to bathe in the waters of the Jordan, the Templars 
addiessed a letter to Melik-Eamel, pointing out the meao» 


of surprising tlie head of the Christian army in his pfQ- 
grimage : the sultan of Cairo despised such treachery, and 
sent the letter he had received to Frederick. At the same 
time Melik-Kamel learnt that the sultan of Damascus had 
declared war against him, and would be joined by several 
other Mussulman princes. The sultan of Cairo and the 
emperor of Germany had carried on their negotiations 
for peace during several months, but now, pressed on all 
sides by enemies, and surrounded by dangers, even in their 
own camp, they at length resolved to end the matter, and 
conclude a treatv, which would permit them to dispose of 
their forces for their security- or ror their personal ambition. 
They agreed between themselves, that they would make a 
truce of ten years, and that Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, 
and Thoron should be given up to Frederick or his lieu- 
tenants.* According to the conditions of the treaty, the 
Mussulmans were to retain in the holy city, the mosque of 
Omar and the free exercise of their worship : the princi- 
pality of Antioch and the county of Tripoli were not com- 
prised in the treaty. The emperor of Germany undertook 
to divert the Franks from every kind of hostility against 
the subjects or lands of the sultan of Egypt. 

When the articles of the treaty became known in the two 
camps, the peace was considered by both as impious and 
sacnlegious.t The imauns and cadis, invoking the name of 
the caliph of Bagdad, loudly condemned a truce which con- 
veyed away from the Mussulmans the holy city, which they 

* The Arabian authors who speak of this treaty, say that one of the 
conditions was, that the fortifications of Jerusalem should not be repaired ; 
this condition is not named in the treaty which is found in the oontinuator 
of Baronios. 

f Quant I'apostelle oi ces nouTelles, si n'en fu mie lies, paroe que 
I'empereur ^tait ezoommuni^, et qu'il li etoit avis qu'il avait fait mauvaise 
pais, parce que les Sarrasins tenaient le temple et per ce ne volnt-il sofirir 
nn le s^ut fait par lui, ne que sainte ^lise en fit fete, ains recommanda 
par toute Chrestianet^ qu'on excommuniat I'emperor come renvoy^ et 
mescr&int.— Om/. of William qfTyre, (When the apostle heard these 
news, he was not at all pleased, because the emperor was excommunicated, 
and he thought he had made a bad peace, as the Saracens were to retain 
the temple. Therefore he was not willing it should be thought he con- 
sented to the peace, or that the Church should offer up thanks for it ; and 
he ordered that ^e emperor should be ezoommnnicated throughout 
Chrirtendom, as a castaway and an infidel.) 


called the house of Oody the city of the prophet. The prelates 
and biahops, speaking in the name of the pontiff of Borne, 
declaimed vehemently against a treaty which left mosques 
standing by the side of the Holy Sepulchre, and in some 
sort confounded the worship of Mahomet with that of Christ. 
When the envoy of the emperor of Germany went to Damas- 
cus, to procure the ratification of the treaty which had been 
concluded, the sultan and his vizier refused to hear him. 
The peace made with the Christians was a subject of afflic- 
tion and scandal for aU true believers. One of the most 
celebrated orators of Islamism pronounced the panegyric of 
Jerusalem in the great mosque ;• and, when recallinc; in 
pathetic terms the loss the Mussulmans had experienced, he 
drew tears from aU the assembled people. 

The patriarch of Jerusalem placed an interdict upon the 
recovered holv places, and refused pilgrims permission to 
visit the sepulchre of Christ. Jerusalem was no longer, in 
the eyes of Christians, the holy city and the heritage of the 
Son of Gk)d ; when the emperor made his public entrance, 
the faithful preserved a sullen and melancholv silence as he 
passed along. Accompanied by the German barons and the 
Teutonic knights, he repaired to the church of the Holy 
Sepulchre, which was hung with mourning, and appeared as 
if guarded bv the angel of reprobation ; tul the ecclesiastics 
had deserted the sanctuary, and everything wore the air of 
abomination and desolation. Frederick himself took the 
crown, and placing it- upon his head, he was proclaimed king 
of Jerusalem without any religious ceremony ; the images of 
the apostles were veiled ; nothmg was seen around the altars 
but swords and lances ; and the sacred vaults gave back no 
sounds but the noisy acclamations of warriors. 

After his coronation, Frederick wrote to the pope and to 
all the princes of the West, that he had reconquered Jeru- 
salem without the efiiision of blood ; in his account he en- 
deavoured to enhance the splendour and merit of this vic- 
tory, which must fulfil all the hopes of the Christian world. 
At the same time, the patriarch wrote to Gregory, and all 
the faithful of Christendom, to show them the impiety and 
the disgrace of the treaty Frederick had just concluded. 
When he heard of the success of the emperor, the sovereign 
pontiff deplored the conquest of Jenualem as he would have 


deplored its loss, and compared the new king of Judsa to 
those impious monarchs whom the anger of Gh>d placed upon 
the throne of Darid. 

Frederick was not ahle to remain long in the holy city, 
which resounded with imprecations against him. He re- 
turned to Ptolemais, where he found only revolted suhjects 
and Christians scandalized at his successes. The patriarch 
and the clergy placed an interdict upon the city during the 
time the emperor should remain in it ; all religious worship 
was suspended ; the altars were deprived of their ornaments, 
and the crosses, relics, and images of the saints were cast 
upon the ground ; no more hells, no more religious hymns 
were to he heard ; a melancholy silence prevailed in the 
sanctuary, where mass was celehrated in a low voice, and 
with closed doors. The dead were huried in the fields, 
without funeral ceremonies or monumental stones; eveiy- 
thing, in short, denoted a season of great calamities, and a 
dread of the vengeance of Heaven: it was thus that the 
liherator of Jerusalem was welcomed at Ptolemais. 

It was Passion-week, and this religious period gave addi- 
tional influence to the clergy and more solemnily to the 
maledictions of the Church . fVederick found himseu obliged 
to negotiate for peace with the Christians, as he had done 
with the infidels, and being unable to regain their goodwill, 
he still further exasperated them by his violence. He caused 
the gates of the city to be closed, and prohibited the bring- 
ing in of provisions ; he planted archers and arbalatiers in 
every place where they could insult the Templars and pil- 
grims ; aud by his orders, mendicant preaching monks were 
dragged from the foot of the altar, and beaten with rods in 
the public places of the city. 

Hatred and vengeance were carried, on both sides, to the 
greatest excess. It was impossible for the emperor, sur- 
rounded as he was by enemies, to remain long at Ptolemais, 
in addition to which motive, he daily received letters from 
Europe urging his return. Two formidable armies, under 
the banners of the Holy See, had entered the kingdom of 
Naples, pillaged the cities, ravaged the country, mutilated 
prisoners, and committed all kmds of enormities. These 
armies were under the command of John of Brienne, impa- 
tienii; to lerenge his own injaiies, and two Sicilian counts, 


whom the emperor of Germany had driven from the kingdom 
of Naples. 

Frederick at length quitted Palestine and returned to his 
own dominions. As he left Ptolemais, the inhabitants 
chanted hymns of deliverance and joy. He accused the 
Templars of having endeavoured to deliver him up to the 
Saracens; the Templars, on their part, accused him of 
having wished to surrender all the Christian cities to the 
sultan of Cairo : these accusations, and a thousand others, 
dictated by hatred, ought to inspire the historian with great 
and just suspicions. The Christians might have urged 
against Frederick a much more reasonable reproach ; he had 
taken no means to secure his conquest, and they were war- 
ranted in believing that he had only made his triumphal 
entry into Jerusalem with the view of annoying the Holy 
See, and dating a reply to the inculpations of Gregory from 
the holy places : havmg attained his object, he had deceived 
the faithful, by inviting them to a city that he was disposed 
neither to defend nor fortify. In addition to this, Frederick 
himself felt very little pride in the advantages of which he 
made such a pompous display throughout Europe ; and the 
crusade in wnich he had taken a part was frequently the 
object of his pleasantries and sarcasms. 

On his return to^ Italv, he found a much more serious war 
than that he had carried on in Asia. The pope had not only 
levied troops to ravage hia states, he had mduced the Lom- 
bard republics to take up arms against him. John of 
Brienne, deprived of his title of king of Jerusalem, deter- 
mined to endeavour to be acknowledged emperor, and his 
pretensions were supported by ail that was then held most 
sacred, the authority of the Church and the right of victory. 
The presence of Frederick restored courage to his subjects, 
whose fidelity was stiLL unshaken; he met his enemies in 
several engagements, in which he always gained the advan- 
tage. The army of John of Brienne was dispersed, and the 
pontifical troops quitted aU the cities and provinces they had 
conquered, in the greatest disorder. 

The pope, learning that fortune had deserted his banners, 
again had recourse to the thunders of religion, and employed 
the most terrible of its denunciations against Frederick. He 
declared that all were excommimicated who should hold any 

Vol. IL— 13 

282 HI8T0BT 07 THS CBU8ADS8. 

kind of commerce with the emperor, all who should sit at 
his table, be present at his councils, celebrate divine service 
before him, or offer him any mark of attachment or respect. 
Frederick was terrified at tnis sentence, which was published 
with great solemnity in all parts of Europe, particularly in 
his own dominions ; and sent ambassadors to the pope, who, 
in spite of the thunders with which he was armed, dreaded 
the consequences of war, and showed himself disposed to 
receive the submission of an enemy he dreaded. 

After a negotiation of several days, a treaty was made, in 
which the conquered pope dictated laws to his conqueror, 
and appeared, whilst receiving peace, to accord a pardon. 
But in spite of this treaty of peace, the effects of discord 
still subsisted, and were felt even in the East, where debates, 
raided in the name of the Church, had divided men*s minds, 
and depressed the general courage ; and where the Christian 
states, for which Europe had taken up arms, remained 
without support and without defence. As Frederick had 
abandoned Jerusalem without fortifying it,* the Christians 
were in constant dread of the invasion of the Mussidman . 
peasants, whom the hopes of pillage attracted from the 
mountains of Naplouse. The great bell of the church of 
the Holy Sepulchre often gave warning of the approach of 
an enemy eager for carnage ; and most of the mhabitants 
retired with their terrified families, some to the fortress of 
St. David, which was still standing among the *ruins, and 
others into desert places. 

The patriarch of Jerusalem, the prelates, barons, and 
people of Palestine, who had no longer either a leader or a 
king, in vain implored the assistance of the warriors and 
princes of the West : prayers and complaints so frequently 
repeated, had no power to awaken in the hearts of the faith- 
ful either the sentiments of pity or the enthusiasm which 
had so often caused them to take up arms and the cross. 
They could have no faith in perils that followed so closely 

* Un poi apr^ que I'emperor se fiut parti de la terre de Jerusalem, 
s'auemblcrent villains de la terre as Samiins, et alldrent k Jerusalem 
une mating, pour occir les Chretiens qui dedans estoient.— Cbn^. de Guill, 
de Tyr. The same author adds that the Christian knights then at Ptole- 
mai's came to the assistance of Jerusalem, and that th^ ViH e^ a giwt 
number of the Mastolmans. 

HI8T0&T 07 THE CBX7SADE8. 288 

upon vietoiy; and they despaired of ever being able to 
aasore the deliverance of a country which required to be 
delivered so often. 

The pope, however, had not abandoned the project of the 
crusade, and still entertained the hope of reviving the 
ardour and zeal of the Christian warriors by his exhortations. 
He convoked an assembly at Spoleto, at which Frederick, 
with the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Jeru- 
salem assisted. It was resolved in this assembly, to renew 
the war in Palestine, notwithstanding the truce concluded 
with the sultan of Cairo. 

Ghregory was impatient to accomplish his designs, and 
proclaim the laws of the Church in the rich countries of the 
East ; and, to employ the time till warriors could be gathered 
together, he sent several missionaries across the sea, armed 
with the sword and the word, to elideavour to convert the 
infidels of Syria and Egypt. The sovereign pontiff was so 
persuaded of the success of this pacific crusade, that he 
wrote to the caliph of Bagdad, the sultan of Damascus, 
and the principal Mussulman chiefs, to exhort them to em- 
brace Christianity.* History does not say what the fate 
was of these mendicant preachers in the East; but the 
caliph of Bagdad and the Mussulman princes did not cease 
to be inveterate enemies to the Christians. Gregory IX. 
was better inspired and more fortunate when he sent sacred 
orators into several of the provinces of the West, to appease 
the troubles and civH wars that were so injurious to the cause 
of religion, and diverted the minds of the people from the 
great enterprise of the holy wars, 

The disciples of St. Dominick and St. Francis of Assisi, 
charged with a mission worthy of the Gospel, pervaded cities 
and countries, preaching peace and concord. Among the 
preachers thus sent to pacify states, Brother John of Yicentia 
made himself conspicuous by the miracles effected by his 
eloquence.f In all the countries he visited, the nobles, the 
peasants, the citizens, and the warriors flocked to listen to 

* The letters addressed by the pope to the Muwulman princes may be 
found in the oontinuator of Baronius. 

t For the preachings of John of Vicentia consult L*HUioir§ BeeU^ 
tioMfigue, of Fleuy, voL xfii., and VHUioif dm BfyublifMm d^IUiU^ 
h\ Sismondi. 


him, and swore to pardon all injuries and terminate all 
quarrels. After having re-established peace in several citiea 
troubled bj the spirit of jealousy, and animated bj the 
stormy passions of imdefined, ill-understood liberty, he an- 
nounced that he should preach in the plain of Fescniera, on 
the banks of the Adige. All the inhabitants of the neigh* 
bouiing cities, headed by their clergy and their magistrates, 
repaired to the place appointed, to listen to the An^el of 
Concord* and the orator of public peace. In the presence of 
more than four hundred thousand auditors. Brother John 
mounted a pulpit elevated in the centre of the plain of 
Peschiera; a profound silence prevailed throughout the 
assembly ; every eye was fixed upon the holy preacher ; hia 
words seemed to descend from heaven. He took for his 
text these worcls of the Scripture : " I give you my peace, I 
leave you my peace." After having drawn a frightful pic- 
ture of the evils of war and the effed» of discord, he ordered 
the Lombard cities to renounce their enmities, and dictated 
to them, in the name of the Church, a treaty of universal 
pacification. At no period had the middle ages presented 
a more sublime and touching spectacle ; the historian of that 
time, who has nothing but troubles and wars to describe, 
ought to be delighted at an opportunity to tell of such an 
imposing and solemn scene, wherein religion recalled assem- 
bled nations to a sense of all that her maxims contain that 
is most consoling and salutary. The discourse of Brother 
John filled his auditory with a holy love of peace, and the 
cities then at war swore, before him, to forget for ever the 
subjects of their long div^ions and eternal rivalries. 

These evangelical discourses restored to Italy a few days 
of peace, and gave the Holy See an opporilunity of preachine 
a new crusade with success. Gregory addressed pastond 
instructions to all the bishops and prelates of Christendom. 
In his letters to the French bishops, he applied these words 
of Christ to the holy war : " If any one would come with 
me, let him renounce himself, let him take up my cross and 
follow me.** The sovereign pontiff declared all who would 
not employ their utmost efforts to conquer the heritage of 

* This was then a oommon epithet. St Thoniu ^t^-tt was eaUed 
ike Ang^ qftk€ SekooL'^TwLAVB, 


Christ, guilty of treason. The circulars of the pope ordered 
all the faithful, of both sexes, to pay a denier per week 
towards the expenses of the crusade. The head of the 
Church compared these alms to those which St. Paul 
solicited for the poor of Jerusalem, and did not fear to 
assert, beforehand, that they would suffice for the main- 
tenance of the army of Crusaders for ten years. 

The preaching of this crusade was confided to the frater- 
nities of St. Dominick and St. Francis, which had, in Asia, 
missionaries for the conversion of infidels, and in the "West, 
preachers to re-establish peace among Christians ; the new 
apostles of the holy war received from the pope the power, 
not only to give the cross, but to commute the vow of pil- 
grimage to a pecuniary alms, a practice that had never been 
seen since the begin nmg of the crusades ; they had likewise 
the faculty of granting indulgences for several days to all 
who came to listen to their sermons. According to the spirit 
of their institutions, the disciples of St Francis and St. 
Dominick lived amidst austerities and penance ; they de- 
voted themselves to poverty, an<i were bound to furnish a 
constant example of Christian humility; but, in this in- 
stance, the pope desired they should be received into monas- 
teries and cities with pomp and ceremony ; and that the 
clergy should come out to meet them, with the banners and 
most splendid ornaments of their churches. Whether this 
roagnincence changed the simplicity of their manners, or 
that the people did not like to behold men whom they had 
lately seen devoted to evangelical poverty, treated with 
ceremonial pomp, the preachers ol^the crusade inspired their 
auditors with neither esteem nor respect, aud the crowd 
diminished every day. As they received abundant alms, of 
which no one could see the employment, neither the 
solemnity of their mission nor the sanctity of their charac- 
ters could screen them from the suspicions and accusations 
of the multitude : the murmurs and complaints which arose 
on all sides, at length weakened the authority of their words, 
and assisted in cooling the zeal and devotion of the Chris- 
tians for the holy war. 

The enthusiasm of the people, which Christian eloquence 
could not revive, stood in need of the example of the most 
illustrious princes and warriors. France was then at peace ; 


the war against the Albigeois was drawing towards its end : 
siost of the kuights and barons, reared amidst battles, could 
not endure rest, and sighed for an opportunity of signalizing 
their warlike temperament. Thej took the oath to go into 
Asia and fight against the Saracens. 

Thibault V., count of Champagne, and king of Navarre, 
son of' Thibault, who died before the fifth crusade, under- 
took to discharge the vow his father had made to the Church 
and to Christ. The king of Navarre was celebrated among 
knights and among troubadours ; his muse, which had sung 
profane loves, now gave voice to the complaints of Jerusalem, 
and awakened, by Christian songs, the sotlour of the soldiers 
of the cross. "Learn," said he, "that heaven is closed to 
all those who will not cross the seas to visit and defend the 
tomb of God.- Yes, all the brave, all who love Qod and 
glorj, will not hesitate to take up the cross and arms. 
Those who prefer repose to honour, those who dread perils, 
will remain alone in their homes. Jesus Christ, in the daj 
bf judgment, will say to the one party : * You, who helped 
me to bear my cross, go to the place in which dwell the 
angels and my mother Mary ;' he will say to the others : 
* You, who have not succoured me, descend to the abode of 
the wicked.*"* The example and the exhortations of 
Thibault attracted princes, barons, and knights from all the 
provinces of Trance. 

Pierre de Dreux, duke of Brittany, whom the clergy sur- 
named Mauderc, because, in his youth, he had abandoned 
the ecclesiastical state, wished to expiate his numerous 
felonies, his unjust wars, kis tyranny towards his subjects, 
his perfidies towards his allies, by the holy pilgrimage. 
Hugh IV., duke of Burgundy, the counts of Bar, Ferez, 
M&con, Joigny, Sancoure, and Nevers ; Simon de Montfort, 
Andrew de Vitri, Amaury fils, Geoffrey d*Ancenes, and 
a crowd of barons and knights took the cross, and engaged 
to follow the duke of tfrittany and the king of Navarre into 

As the preaching of the crusade had been accompanied 
by several abuses that might prove injurious to the success 

* This poetical exhortation, addresaed to aU knights, may be found 
printed among the poetry of Thibault. 


of ihe holj expedition, a council assembled at Tours, em- 
ployed itself m remedying and stopping the e^il at its 
source. We have seen, on preceding occasions, that 
preachers of the crusades, by rec^ivin^ criminals under the 
banners of the cross, had scandalized Christian knights ; 
and crusades, as was seen in the twelfth centuiy, were not 
considered as a means of salvation for the faithful, and as the 
way of the Lord, in which all the world might enter. Great 
criminals no longer found a place in the ranks of the pious 
defenders of Christ. The council of Tours decided that 
Crusaders, arrested by justice, should be transferred to the 
hands of an ecclesiastical judge, who would pay no respect 
to their privileges, and shoidd even .take the cross from 
them, if he found them guilty of homicide or any other 
great crime committed against divine and human laws. 

As in other crusades, the people were led into violent 
excesses against the Jews, whom they accused of havine 
immoLited the God for whom they were going to fight, and 
who retained immense treasures in their hands, whilst the 
Crusaders were obliged to pledge their property to perform 
the voyage to Palestine. In order to stop the course of 
these popular violences, the council forbade anv ill-treatment 
of the Jews, either by plundering them of tfieir wealth or 
by doing them personal injury, under pain of heavy eccle- 
siastical censures. ^ 

Another abuse, not less prejudicial to the Crusaders than 
all the others, had been likewise observed. The preachers 
of the holy wars and many other theologians had permitted 
Crusaders to buy off their vow 1^ paying a sum of money 
equal to that which they would have expended in their pil- 
grimage :• this abuse caused great scandal among the faith- 
ful, but the Holy See, which derived considerable sums from 
it, paid no attention to the complaints made on accoimt of 
it in England and many other states of Europe. 

The Crusaders were preparing for their departure, when, 
all at once, a fresh cry of alarm resounded through the 
West. The empire of the Latins, at Constantinople, was 
reduced to the lowest extremity. After the reigns of Bald- 
win of Flanders and his son Henry, the family of Courtenay, 

* Matthew Paris speaks warmly against this abuse, which created mnch 
Biiirmoring in England. 


called to the throne, derived nothing from their exaltation 
but the griefs and reverses inseparable from the government 
of an empire which is haatening to decay. Peter of Courtenajy 
count 01 Auierre, when on his wjy to take ^possession of the 
throne of Baldwin, was surprised and maasacred in Mace* 
donia, by the orders of Theodore Comnenus, prince of 
Epirus. A short time afterwards, the empress, who had 
arrived at Constantinople by sea, died of grief, on learning 
the tragical end of her husband. Bobert of Courtenay, 
second son of Peter, only ascended the throne to experience 
the rapid decline of the empire ; conquered in a great bat- 
tle by Vataces, the successor of Lascaris, he lost all the pro- 
vinces situated beyond the Bosphorus and the Hellespont ; 
whilst, on the other side, the prince of Epirus took posses- 
sion of Thessaly and a great part of Thrace. Constantinople, 
threatened by formidable enemies, beheld from -its towers 
the standards of the Greeks of Nice and of the barbarians 
of Mount Hemus, floating near its walls and insulting its 
majesty. Amidst these various disasters, Bobert died, kav- 
iaSf as his only successor, his brother Baldwin, stiU in his 
childhood. John of Brienne, whom fortune had made, for 
a short period, king of Jerusalem, was called to the totter- 
ing throne of Constantinople, at the moment that the 
Greeks and Bulgarians, animated hy the ardour of pillage, 
were at the gates of the capjtal. Their fleets penetrated to 
the port, their numerous battalions were preparing to scale 
the ramparts ; but the new emperor fl^ught several battles 
with them, obtained possession of their ships, and dispersed 
their armies. The miraci^lous victories of John of Brienne 
added greatly to his renown, but only served to diminish his 
forces : after having defeated his enemies, he found himself 
without an army ; and whilst the poets were comparing him 
to Hector, Bolmid, and Judas MachabsDUs,* he was obliged 

♦N'aio, Ector, Roll', ne OgierB, 
Ke Jadas Maabebeos li fien 
Taut ne fit d'armes en estora 
Com fist li Rois Jehana eel jors 
£t il defora et 11 dedana 
La para sa force et sea aena 
£t U hardement <|a'il avoit. 

PMUp MomdkH, 1274. 


to wait in his capital for succours that 'had been promised 
him, and which never arrived. More than eighty years of 
age, he terminated his active career in contesting with the 
barbarians the remains of a power which had been founded 
by arms, and the miserable wreck of which could only be 
preserved by prodigies of valour. 

The ruins which surrounded him in his last moments 
must have made him sensible of the nothingness of human 

rdeur, and produced sentiments of Christian humility, 
had passed the early days of his life amidst the auste- 
rities of the cloister. On his deathbed he laid aside the 
imperial purple, and was desirous of breathing his last sigh 
in the habit of a Cordelier. A simple French knight, seated 
for some few days upon two thrones, both ready to pass 
away, son-in-law of two kings,* father-in-law of two empe- 
rors, John of Brienne only left, when dying, the remem- 
brance of his extraordinary exploits, and the example of a 
wonderful destiny. Toung Baldwin, who had married his 
daughter, and who was to have succeeded him, was unable 
to obtain his inheritance ; and departing as a Aigitive from 
his capital, he wandered through Europe as a suppliant, 
braving and enduring the contempt of princes and nations. 
Spectacle worthy of pity! the successor of the Ciesars, 
clothed in the' purple, was beheld imploring the charity of 
the faithful, begging for the assistance granted to the lowest 
indigence, and frequently not obtaining that for which he 

Whilst the emperor of the East was thus travelling 
through Italy, France, and England, Constantinople was 
left without an arm^, and sacrificed for the defenee of the 
state, even to its relics, the objects of the veneration of the 
people, and the last treasures of the empire. The sovereign 
pontiff was touched with the misery and degmdation of 
Baldwin, and, at the same time, could not hear without pity 
the complaints of the Latin church of Byzantium : ho pub- 
lished a new crusade for the defence of the empire of the 

The Crusaders, who were about to set out for the Holy 
Land, were invited to lend their assistance te their brethren 

* John of Briemie married, na his second wife, a daughter of the king 
of Arngon* 



of Constantmople ; but the prayers and exhortationB of the 
Holj See produced but very ^ble effects ; opinions were 
divided ; some wished to defend the empire of the Latins, 
others, the kingdom of Jerusalem. 

The French princes and nobles, however, persisted in 
their resolution of going to fight against the Saracens in 
Asia. The barons and knights either pawned or sold their 
lands to purchase horses and arms, quitted their donjons 
and their castles, and tore the];nselves from the embraces of 
their wives. Thibault, their leader and interpreter, bade 
adieu to France in verses which are still extant, and which 
express, at the same time, the devotion of a Christian and 
the spirit of chivalry. His muse, at once pious and profane, 
deplores the torments of love, the griefs of absence, and 
celebrates the gloiy of the soldiers of Christ ; to console 
himself for having lefl the lady of his thoughts, the king of 
Navarre invokes the Virgin Mary, the lady of the heaverUy 
and finishes his complaints, by this verse, which so admir- 
ably paints the manners of the time : 

Qnand dame perds, Dame me soit aidant.* 

Other troubadours, after the example of the king of 
Navarre, sang the departure of the pilgnms ; they promised, 
in their verses, the indulgences of the crusade to the war- 
riors that would set out for Syria, advising the dames and 
demoiselles not to listen to those that should be left in 
Europe ; for, said they, there will remain none but cowards : 
bHI the brave are going to seek glory in the battles of the 
East. Whilst France was repeating the songs of the trou- 
badours, and prayers were offered up to Heaven in the 
churches for the success of the expedutions, the Crusaders 
from all the provinces of the kingdom commenced their 
march, directing their course towards the port of Marseilles, 
where vessels waited, to transport them into Asia ; all were 
animated by the most ardent zeal for the deliverance of the 
holy places ; but the pope, at whose voice they had taken 
up arms, no longer applauded their enthusiasm. Gregory, 
wno had made himself a great many formidable enemies in the 

* « My lady iMt, holy lady be my aid."— TaAira. 


"West, appeared to have forgotten a war he had so wannlj 
promoted^ and was entirely engrossed bj his own dancers. 

Most of the leaders of the crusade were assembled at 
Lyons to deliberate upon the best means of carrying on their 
enterprise, when they received a nuncio from the sovereign 
pontiff, who commanded them to return to their homes. 
This unexpected order from Gregory IX. gave great offence 
to the princes and barons, who told the envoy of the court 
of Borne, that the pope might change his pohcy, and di^ap- 

Srove of that which he himself had set on toot ; but that the 
efenders of the cross, they who had devoted themselves to 
the service of Christ, would remain steadfast in their inten- 
tions. " We have made,*' added they, " all our preparations ; 
we have pledged or sold our lands, our houses, and our goods ; 
we have quitted our friends and our families, giving out our 
departure for Palestine: religion and honour forbid us to 
retrace our steps.'** 

As the pope's nimcio wished to speak and uphold the 
authority of the Church, and as he accused the barons of 
betraying the cause they were goiu^ to defend, the Chris- 
tian warriors could not restrain their indignation; the 
soldiers and leaders were so exasperated, that they even 
ill-treated the ambassador of the pontiff; and, but for the 
intercession and prayers of the prelates and bishops, would 
have immolated hun to their anger. 

Scarcely had the Crusaders dismissed the pope's nuncio 
with contempt, than deputies arrived from the emperor of 
Germany, equally supplicating them to suspend their march, 
and wait till he had collected his troops, m order to place 
himself at their head. The knights and barons, animated 
by a sincere zeal for the objects of their expedition, could 
not comprehend the meaning of the delays thus attempted 
to be thrown in the way of it, and sighed over the bUndness 
of the powers that wished to turn them aside from the road 
to salvation. The king of Navfcrre, the dukes of Brittany 
and Burgimdy, with most of the nobles that had taken the 
cross, persisted in the design of accomplishing their vow, 
and embarked for Syria at the port of Marseilles. 

* See Raynold, Matthew Paris, Albcric, Richard of St. Germain, «nd 
the EeeUtioMtieal HUtory of Fleury, regarding thii drcoouttnoe. 


A new misunderstanding had broken out between the 
pope and Frederick, who were disputing the sovereignty of 
Sardinia ; all the passions were soon engaged in this quarrel, 
and armed themselves, by turns, with the vengeance of 
Heaven and the furies of war. Gregory, after having ex- 
communicated Frederick afresh, was determined to attack 
his reputation, and degrade him in the opinion of his con- 
temporaries. Monitories and briefs from the pope were 
read in all the churches of Europe, in which the emperor 
was represented as an impious man, an accomplice of heretics 
and Saracens, an oppressor of religion and humanitv. 
Frederick replied to tne accusations of the sovereign pontiff 
by the most violent invectives ; he addressed himself to the 
Bomans, to excite them against the Holy See, and called 
upon aU the princes of Europe to defend his cause as their 
own.* " Kings and princes of the earth," said he, ** look 
upon the injury done to us as your own, brin^ water to eX' 
tinguish the fire that has been kindled in our neighbourhood ; 
'a similar danger threatens you." Tlie irritated pope hurled 
all the thunders of the Church against his adversary ; and 
even went so far as to preach a crusade against the emperor, 
saying, " There was more merit in combating a prince who 
was rebellious to the successors of St. Peter, than in de- 
livering Jerusalem." Throughout this scandalous contest, 
the Church was allowed to possess nothing that was sacred, 
the authority of princes nothing that was legitimate ; on 
one side, the sovereign pontift' considered all who remained 
faithful subjects to the emperor as the ministers and accom- 
plices of the demon ; on tne other, the emperor would not 
aclmowledge the pope as the vicar of Christ. At last, 
Q-regory promised the imperial crown to any Christian 
prince who would take up arms against the emperor, and 
drag him from his throne : Louis IX., more wise than the 
Church itself, refused the empire which was offered to him 
for his brother Eobert, and employed earnest but vain en- 
deavours to restore peace to Europe, disturbed by the pre- 
tensions and menaces of the pope. 

They soon came to hostilities ; and Frederick, after having 

* Upon the qaarrels of the pope and the emperor, Vllaiia Sacra, 
torn, viii., Richard de St. Germain, and particularly Matthew Paris, who 
reports the letten of Frederick, maj be ooDsnlted. 


gained a great victory over the Milanese, and carried terror 
amongst all the republics of Lombard^, inarched towards 
Some at the head of an army. Gregory, who had no troops 
at all, went through the streets of his capital at the head of 
a procession ; he exhibited to the Eomans the relics of the 
apostles, and, melting into tears, told them he had no means 
01 defending this sacred deposit without their assistance. 
The nobility and people, toucned by the prayers of the pope, 
swore to die in defence of the Holy See. They set about 
preparations for war, they fortified the city with the greatest 
expedition ; and when the emperor drew near to the gates, 
he saw those same Bomans, who, a short time before, had 
embraced his cause against the pope, drawn up in battle* 
array on the ramparts, determined to die in the cause of the 
head of the Church. Frederick besieged the city, without 
being able to get possession of it ; in his an^er, he accused 
the Bomans of perfidy, and revenged himself by exercising 
horrible cruelties on his prisoners. The hatred enkindled 
between the pope and the emperor soon passed into the 
minds of the people, and the furies of civil war devastated 
the whole of Italy. 

Amidst such general disorder and agitation, the cries and 
prayers of the Christians of Palestine were scarcely audible. 
At the expiration of the truce concluded with Frederick, 
the sultan of Damascus re-entered Jerusalem, and destroyed 
the tower of David and the weak ramparts erected by the 
Christians : this conquest, which revived the courage of the 
Mussulmans, necessarily produced more than proportionate 
despair among the unfortunate inhabitants of the Holy Land. 
Instead of receiving within its walls the innumerable armies 
that fame had announced, Ptolemais only had to welcome 
the arrival of a few unarmed pilgrims, who had nothing to 
relate but the deplorable quarrels of Christian monarchs 
and princes. Most of the communications with the East 
were closed ; all the maritime powers of Italy were contend- 
ing for the empire of the sea ; sometimes in league with the 
sovereign pontiff, sometimes with the emperor. Several of 
the Crusaaers who had sworn to go to Constantinople or 
Ptolemais, took part in the crusade that had been preached 
against Frederick ; others resolved to proceed to Syria by 
luid, and almost all perished in the mountains and deserts 


of Asia Minor ; tbe French lords and princes, who, in spito 
of the orders of the pope, set out for Asia &om the porta 
of Provence, were able to bring with them into Palestine 
but a very small number of warriors. 

At the period of the arrival of these Crusaders, the East 
was not less troubled than the West. Melik-Kamel, the 
sultan of Cairo, had recently died, and his death became the 
signal for many sanguinary wars among the princes of his 
family, who disputed by turns the kingdom of Egypt, and 
the principalities of Damascus, Aleppo, and ELamah. Amidst 
these divisions, the emirs and the Mamelukes, whose dan- 
gerous support was constantly sought for, were accustomed 
to dispose of power, and proved themselves more formidable 
to their sovereigns thm to the enemies of Islamism. 
Supreme authori^ seemed to be the reward of victory or of 
skill in treachery ; the Mussulman thrones were environed 
bv so many perils, that a sultan of Damascus was seen 
abandoning his sceptre, and seeking retirement, saying, 
"a hawk and a hound afforded him more pleasure than 
empire." The princes, divided among themselves, called 
for the succour of the Carismians and other barbarous 
nations, who burnt their cities, pillaged their provinces, com- 
pleted the destruction of the powers they came to defend, 
and perfected all the evils that were bom of discord. 

The Crusaders might have taken advantage of all these 
troubles, but they never united their forces against the 
enemy they had sworn to contend with ; the kingdom of 
Jerusalem had no government capable of directing the forces 
of the crusade ; the crowd of pilgrims had no tie, no common 
pomt of interest which could hold them together for any 
length of time under the same standards : scattered troops 
of soldiers were to be seen, but there was nowhere an army ; 
each of the leaders and princes followed a plan of his own, 
declared war or proclaimed peace in his own name, and 
appeared to fight entirely for his own ambition or renown. 

The duke of Brittany, followed by his knights, made an 
incursion into the lands of Damascus, and returned to 
Ptolema'is with a rich booty ; the other Crusaders, jealous 
of the success of this expedition, were desirous of distin- 
guishing themselves by exploits, and formed the project of 
attacking the city of Qaza. As they marched without 


order or precaution, they were surprised and cut to pieces 
by the Saracens. The duke of Burgimdv, who was at the 
head of this expedition, escaped the pursuit of the con- 
querors almost alone, and came back to Ptolemaas, to de- 
plore the loss of his knights and barons, who had all met 
with slavery or death on the field of battle. This reverse, 
instead of uniting the Christians more closely, only increased 
their discords ; in the impossibility of effecting any triumph 
for their arms, they treated separately with the infidels, and 
made peace, as they had made war. The Templars and 
some leaders of the army agreed for a^truce with the sultan 
of Damascus, and obtained the restitution of the holy 
places ; on their side, the Hospitallers, with the count of 
Champagne, and the dukes of Burgundy and Brittany, con- 
cluded a treaty with the sultan of Egypt, and undertook to 
defend him against the Saracens who had just given up 
Jerusalem to the Christians. 

Afber having disturbed Palestine by their disorders, the 
Crusaders abandoned it to return to JSurope, and were re- 
placed at Ptolemaia by some English, who arrived under 
Itichard of Cornwall, brother to Henry III. Bichard, who 
possessed the tin and lead mines of the county of Cornwall, 
was one of the richest princes of the West : if old chroni-. 
cles are to be believed, Gregory had forbidden him to go to 
the East, hoping that he would consent to remain in Europe, 
and would impart a portion of his treasures to the Holy See, 
to produ-e the indulgences of the crusade. When Eichard 
arrived before Ptolemais, he was received by the people and 
the clergy, who went out to meet him, singing, " Blessed 
be hQ who comes in the name of the Lord.*' This prince 
was the grandson of Richai'd CoBur de Lion,* whose courage 
and exploits had rendered him so famous in the East. The 
name alone of Richard spread terror among the Saracens ; 
the prince of Cornwall equalled his ancestor in bravery ; he 
was full of zeal and ardour, and his army shared his enthu- 
siasm for religion and glory. He prepared to open the 
campaign, and everything seemed to promise success ; but, 

* This is a mistake ; Richard had no legitimate children. Richard, 
duke of Cornwall, who was likewise king of the Romans, was the son of 
John, Richard's brother. In the same manner Gibbon calls Edward I. 
Richard's fupAnv;— he was his grwt-nephno, — ^Tkans. 


after a march of some days, and a few advantages obtained 
over the enemy, finding himself veiy ill-seconded by the 
Christians of Palestine, he was obliged to renew the truce 
made with the sultan of Egypt. As the whole fruit of his 
' expedition, he could only obtain an exchange of prisoners, 
and permission to pay the honours of sepultui^ to the 
Christians killed at the battle of Gaza. 

Without having seen either the walls of Jerusalem or the ' 
bauks of the Jordan, Sichard embarked for Italy, where he 
found the pope still engaged in the war against Frederick. 
All Europe was in a blaze ; a council convoked for the peace 
of the Church had not been able to assemble ; the emperor 
still besieged the city of Borne, and threatened the head of 
Christendom. Amidst this general disorder, Gregory died, 
cursing his implacable adversary', and was succeeded by 
Celestine IV., who only wore the tiara sixteen days. The 
war was continued with renewed fury, the Church re- 
mained without a head, and Christ without a vicar upon 
earth ; the cardinals wandered about dispersed ; Frederick 
holding several of them in chains. " The court of Eome," 
says Fleury, " was desolate, and fallen into great contempt." 
This deplorable anarchy lasted nearly two years ; all Chris- 
tendom was loud in complaints, and demaiided of Heaven a 
pope able to repair the evils of Europe and the Church. 

The conclave met at length, but the election of Inno- 
cent I v., made amidst trouble and discord, put an end to 
neither the public scandal nor the furies of tne war, which 
grieved all true Christians. The new pontiff followed the 
example of Innocent* III. and Gregory IX., and soon sur- 
passed all their excesses. Under nis pontificate, disorder 
continued increasing, until it had reached its height. The 
Christians of Greece and Palestine were quite forgotten. Mis* 
sionaries in vain perambulated the kingdoms of the West, 
to exhort the faithful to make peace among themselves, and 
turn their arms against the Saracens ; many of these angels 
of peace were proscribed by Frederick, who was, at once, at 
war with the sovereign pontiff, the emperor of the East, and 
all those who, in taking the cross, nad sworn to defend 
Eome, or to deliver Constantinople or Jerusalem. We will 
not attempt to describe the violent scenes of which the West, 
but pnrtic'Lilarly Italy, was the theatre. Attention becomes 


fatigued bj dwelling long upon the same pictures ; tlie wan 
and revolutions which lend so much life to history finish bj 
presenting only a wearisome, twice-told tale ; and thus, like- 
wise, may the reader perceive that the passions have their 
uniformity and tempests their monotoi^. 

Each of the preceding crusades had a distinct object, a 
march which could be easily followed, and was only remark- 
able for great exploits or' great reverses. That which we 
have just described, which embraces a period of thirty years, 
is ramgled with so many different events, with so many 
clashing interests, so many passions foreign to the holy 
wars, that it at first appears to present only a confused pic- 
ture ; and the historian, constantly occupied in relating the 
revolutions of the East and of the West, may with reason 
be accused of having, as a European Christian, forgotten 
Jerusalem and the cause of Christ. 

When we have read the twelfth book of this history, we 
perceive that we are already far from the age that gave birtli 
to the crusades, and witnessed their brilliant progress. When 
comparing this war with those that preceded it, it is easy to 
see that it has a different character, not only in the manner 
in which it was conducted, but in the means employed to 
inflame the zeal of the Christians, and induce them to take 
• up arms. 

When we observe the incredible efforts of the popes to 
arm the nations of the West, we are at first astonished at 
the small quantity of success obtained by their exhortations, 
their menaces, and their prayers. We have but to compare 
the Council of Clermont, neld by Urban, with the Council of 
the Lateran, presided over by Gb^gory. In the first, the 
complaints of Jerusalem excite the tears and sobs of the 
auditory ; in the second, a thousand different objects intrude, 
to occupy the attention of the fathers of the Church, who 
express themselves upon the misfortunes of the Holy Laud, 
without emotion and without pain. At the voice of Urban, 
knights, barons, and ecclesiastics all swore together to go 
and fight against the infidels; the council became, in a 
moment, an assembled host of intrepid warriors : it was not 


BO at the Council of the Lateran, in which no one took the 
cross, or burst forth into an expression of that high enthu- 
eiasm which the pope desired to awaken in all hearts. 

We have drawn attention, in the course of our recital, to 
the circumstance of pilgrims being permitted by the preachers 
of the holy war to buy off their vow by paying a sum of 
money ; this mode of expiating sins appeared to be a scan- 
dalous innovation : and the indulgence of the missionaries of 
the holy war, who thus released the faithful from the pil- 
grimage, made them lose a considerable portion of their 
ascendancy. They were not, as formerly, the messengers of 
Heaven ; the multitude no longer endowed them with the 
power of working miracles ; they were even sometimes 
oblifi;ed to employ the menaces and promises of the Church 
to £raw hearers to their sermons ; m short, at length the 
people ceased to consider them as the interpreters of the 
gospel, and saw in them only the collectors ^f the dues of 
the Holy See. This sale of the privileges of the crusade, 
piirchased at an extravagant price, necessarily checked the 
effects of aU generous passions, and, in the minds of Chris- 
tians, confounded that which belonged to Heaven with that 
which belonged to earth. 

Preceding ages were unacquainted with any other motive 
but religion and its promises.* The companions of Peter 
the Hermit and Godfrey, the warriors who followed Louis 
the Yo\mg, Philip Augustus, Bichard Cobut de Lion, Boni- 
face, and Baldwin of Flanders, could not have possibly be- 
lieved that gold could be made a substitute for the merit 
and glory of the holy war. 

We find another remarkable difference in the preaching of 
this crusade, — ^the refusal to admit great criminals under the 
banners of the cross. The astonishment which the enrol- 
ment of a crowd of obscure persons in the holy militia 
caused amon^ the Christian knights, suffices to denote a 
great change m the manners and opinions of the Crusaders. 
The sentiment of honour, which is allied with a love of 

* It appears to be almost incredible that our autlior should be bo blind 
himself, or expect bis readers to be so, to the lessons taught by his His- 
tory ! If the early Crusaders could not buy oflF their pilgrimages, more 
of them were attracted by what they might obtain on earth, than by 
*' religion and its promises.*' — ^Trans. 


gloiy, and has a tendency to establisli distinctioiis among 
men, appears to have prevailed over the purely religious 
feeling which inspires numilitj, acknowledges the equal 
rights of all Christians, and confounds repentance with 
virtue. The crusade, into which none were admitted hut 
men of acknowledged hravery and good conduct, ceased, in 
some sort, to be a simplv religious war, and began to re- 
semble other wars, in which leaders have tlie power of 
selecting the soldiers they have to command. 

The enthusiasm for the holy wars only revived at intervals, 
like a fire upon the point of going out. of itself; the people 
required some great event, some extraordinarjr circumstance, 
some striking example of princes or wamors, to induce 
them to take arms against the infidels; the subtleties of 
theologians, who insisted upon everything being subservient 
to their discussions, contributed to cool the remains of that 
pious and warlike ardour, which, till that time, it had been 
found necessary to moderate and restrain within just limits. 
Disputes were started in the schools upon such questions as 
these : In what case was a Christian exempt from the accom- 
plishment of his vow P What sum was sufficient to redeem 
a promise made to Christ ? If certain pious exercises could 
be substituted for pilgrimage P If an heir was bound to 
fulfil the oath of a testator P Whether the pjil^m who died 
on his way to the Holy Land, had more merit m the eyes of 
GK)d than one who died on his return?* Whether a wife 
could take the cross without the consent of her husband, or 
the husband without the consent of the wife ? &c. From 
the moment in which all these questions were solemnly dis- 
cussed, and, upon several points, the opinions of theologians 
differed, enthusiasm, which never reasons, was rendered 
languid by the cold arguments of the doctors ; and pilgrims 
appeared to yield less to the transports of a generous feeling, 
than to the necessity of performing a duty or of following 
an established rule. 

This sixth crusade was more abundant in intrigues and 
scandalous quarrels than in military exploits ; the Christians 
never united all their efforts against the infidels ; no spirit 
of order presided over their enterprises ; the Crusaders, who 

* Most of these questions may be found in the work of the Jemiit 
Grentxetf which bean for title De Oruce, 


only held their mission of their zeal, set out at the time 
their will or their fancy selected ; some returned to Europe 
-ndthout having faced a Saracen in fight ; others abandoned 
the colours of the cross, after a victory or a defeat ; and fresh 
Crusaders were constantly summoned to defend the con- 
quests or repair the faults of those that had preceded them. 
Although the West had counted in this crusade more than 
five hundred thousand of her warriors departing for Palestine 
or Egypt, great armies were rarely assembled on the banks 
of the Nile or the Jordan. As the Crusaders were never 
gathered together in great bodies, they were not subjected 
to famine, or the other scourges that had so fearfully thinned 
the ranks of the early defenders of the cross ; but if they 
experienced fewer reverses, if they were better disciplined, 
we may say that they showed none of that ardour, or of 
those lively passions which men communicate to each other, 
and which acquire a new degree of force and activity amidst 
a multitude assembled for the same cause and under the 
same banners. 

By transferring the theatre of the war to Egypt, the Chris- 
tians no longer had before their eyes, as in Palestine, the 
revered places and monuments, which could recall to them 
the religion and the God they were about to fight for ; they 
had no longer before them and around them the river Jordan, 
Libanus, Thabor, or Mount Sion, the aspect of which had 
80 vividly affected the imagination of the first Crusaders. 

When the people of Europe heard the head of the Church 
exhort the faithful to the conquest of Jerusalem, and at the 
same time curse Prederick, the liberator of the holy city, 
the object of the crusade lost its sacred character in the 
eyes of Christians. The emperor of Germany, after his 
return from his expedition, sometimes said, " If God had 
been acquainted with the kingdom of Naples, he never could 
have preferred the barren rocks of Jerusalem to it." These 
^sacrilegious words of Frederick must have been a great sub- 
ject of offence to pilgrims ; but, indeed, this prince only sent 
to the Holy Lana such of his subjects as he was dissatisfied 
with, or wished to punish. The popes also condemneid to 
pilgrimage the great criminals whom society r^fjected from 
its bosom, which was very repugnant to the manners And 
opinions of the nobles and knights of Europe. Ab a 

nil^TOBT OV THX CBV8ADX8. 801 

crowning misfortune, the reverses or exploits of the Crusa- 
ders beyond the seas frequently created divisions among the 
princes of the West. From that time, Palestine was no 
longer, in the eyes of the £uthful, a land of blessedness, 
flowing with milk and honey, but a place of exile. From 
that tune Jerusalem was less considered the city of God and 
the heritage of Christ, than a subject of discord, or the 
place in which were bom all the storms that disturbed 

In the other crusades, the popes had been satisfied with 
awakening the enthusiasm of pilgrims, and addressing prayers 
to Heaven for the success of the Cruaeulers ; but in this war, 
the heads of the Church insisted upon directing all the ex- 
peditions, and commjuiding, by their legates, the operations 
of the Christian armies. The invasion of Eg}'pt was de- 
cided upon in the Council of the Lateran, without a thought 
of asking the advice or opinions of any of the skilful cajp- 
tains of the age. When hostilities began, the envoys of the 
pope presided over all the events of the war ; weakening the 
ardour of the soldiers of the cross, by their ambitious pre- 
tensions, as well as by their ignorance. They let all the 
fruits of victory slip through their hands, and gave birth to 
an injurious rivalry between the spiritual and the temporal 
powers. This rividry, this reciprocal mistrust, were carried 
so far, that the sovereign pontiff and the emperor of Ger- 
many, by turns, arrested the march of the pilgrims,; the first 
fearing that the Crusaders, on embarking for Palestine, 
would become the soldiers of Frederick; the second, that 
these same soldiers might become the defenders of the 
temporal power of the popes. 

At the period of which we have just retraced the history, 
so many crusades were preached at once, that the eves of 
the &ithful were necessarily diverted from the first object of 
these holy expeditions. Called upon to defend so many 
causes, no one could distinguish which was the cause of God 
and Jesus Christ ; so many interests presented themselves 
at the same time to the attention of Christians, and were 
recommended to the bravery of warriors, that they gave 
birth to hesitation and reflection; and these produced in- 
difference. Europe, for a length of time in a state of fer- 
mentation, was undergoing the vague uooertainty at a 


change ; states began to think more of their independence, 

ale of their liberty. The passions which politics bring 
, took the place of passions of which religion is the 

The san^inary quarrels of the emperor and the popes 
contributed greatly to the revolution which was brought 
about in men's minds : the motive which animated the heads 
of the Church was not alwjys a religious one ; the emperor 
of Germany and the pontiff of Eome had pretensions to 
the domination of Italy, and had been, for a long time, 
engaged in a rivalry of ambition. Gregory could not see 
Frederick master of the kingdom of Naples without great 
pain ; and when he pressed him to go into Asia, to make 
war upon the Saracens, he might have been compared to 
that personage of ancient fable, who, in order to get rid of 
his rival, sent him to combat the Chimera. 

Four popes, although of a different character, finding 
themselves in the same circumstances, pursued the. same 
policy. Frederick, by his cruelties, injustice, and extrava- 
gant ambition, often justified the violences of the Holy See, 
of which he was, by turns, the ward, the protector, and the 
enemy ; like his predecessors, he made no secret of his pro- 
ject of restoring the empire of the Caesars ; and, had it not 
been for the popes, it is not improbable that Europe would 
have been brought under the yoke of the emperors of Ger- 

The policy of the sovereign pontiffs, whilst weakening the 
imperial power, favoured, in Cfermany, the liberty of cities, 
and the growth and duration of small states; we do not 
hesitate to add, that the thunders of the Church preserved 
the independence of Italy, and perhaps that of France, 
which was less ill treated by the court of Eome than neigh- 
bouring nations. The French monarchy took advantage of 
the troubles that existed on the other siae of the Bhine, and 
of the interdict set upon England, to repel the invasions of 
the English and Germans ; and, at the same time, availed 
itself of the absence of the king of Navarre, the dukes of 
Brittany and Burgundy, with several other great vassals, 
whom the crusade attracted beyond the seas, to increase the 
preropiatives of the royal authority, and extend the limits of 
the kingdom. 


England hereelf owes something to the authority of tho 
popes, who, by overwhelming John Lackland- with excom- 
munications, rendered him powerless in his attempts to 
enslave the English people, or to resist the demands of the 
barons and the commons. This is a truth which imp^&rtial 
history cannot deny or doubt, and which disposes us not to 
approve, but to blame with less bitterness, excesses and 
abuses of power of which all the effects have not been de- 
plorable.* The populace of London, who bum every year 
the effi^ of the pope, would be much astonished if, amidst 
a fanatical delirium, they were told that the army which 
once fought for the independence of Great Britoin was 
called the army of &od and of the Holy Church; if they 
were reminded that the great charter of the Forest, the first 
monument of British liberty, was the fortunate fruit of the 
menaces and thunders of the Church of Bome, and that this 
charter would never have been granted by John, without 
the redoubtable influence and the imperious counsels of the 
sovereign pontiff.f 

Without wishing to justify the domination of the popes, 
we may say that they were led to grasp at supreme power 
by the circumstances in which Europe was placed in the 
eleventh and twelfth centuries. European society, without 
experience or laws, and plunged in ignorance ana anarchy, 

* AlthoQgli thia ia very like " damning with faint praise," I cannot see 
how the popes or their abases are entitled to any mitigation of contempt 
or disapproval t the beneficial results were the work of Providence, and 
were never contemplated by the pontiffs. — Taaks. 

t King John was a bad prince : he inspired mistrust in his subjects, 
who demanded a pledge of him, and this pledge became the English 
constitution. If France, before the revolution of 1789, had never asked 
her kings for a pledge, it was because none of them had inspired mistrust 
•io his people : the best eulogy that can be made upon the kings of France 
is, that the nation had never felt under their government the want of a 
written or guaranteed constitution, and that they were in all times con- 
sidered as the safest guardians of the public liberty. 

[It is scarcely conceivable bow a writer of the nineteenth century could 
offer his readers such opinions as these (both text and note). Some of 
the best portions of British liberty were obtained from better kings than 
any France had, with the exception of Henry IV., from Louis IX. to the 
end of the monarchy. Our Charles I. and James II. had their faults, 
but they are as '* unsunned snow " by the side of nine French numarcha 
out of tee.]— TnANi. 


cast itself into the afms of the popes, and belicycd that it 
placed itself under the protection of Heaven. 

As nations had no other ideas of civilization than such aa 
they received from the Christian religion, the sovereign pon- 
tiffs naturally became the supreine arbiters between rival or 
neighbouring countries ; amidst the darkness which the light 
of the G-ospel had a continued and never-ending tendency to 
diminish, their authority must naturally have been the first 
established and the first recognised ; temporal power stood 
in need of their sanction ; people and kings implore4 their 
support and consulted their wisdom : they beheved them- 
senres authorized to exercise a sovereign dictatorship. 

This dictatorship was often exercised to the advantage of 
public morality and social order ; it often protected the weak 
against the strong; it arrested the execution of criminal 
plots; it re-established peace between states; and it pre- 
served a young society from the excesses of ambition, licen- 
tiousness, and barbarism. When we cast our eyes over 
the annals of the middle ages, we cannot help being struck 
by one of the most beautiful spectacles that human society 
has ever presented, — it is that of Christian Europe recog- 
nising but one religion, having but one law, forming as it 
were but one empire, govemea by a single head, who spoke 
in the name of God, and whose mission was to make the 
Gospel reign upon earth. 

In the general reflections by which we shall terminate this 
work, we will enter into much greater developments upon 
this head ; we will compare modem Europe with the Europe 
of the middle ages, and we will make it clear that, if we have 
acquired some wisdom in the art of civilization, we are still 
far from having turned it to the advantage of public libertv : 
nations are at the present day led away by the spirit of tl^e 
French revolution, as they were in the middle ages by the 
spirit of the court of Bomd and enthusiasm for the crusades. 
The French revolution began by liberal ideas, it was con- 
tinued by victories. The military spirit allied itself with the 
fanaticism of new ideas, as it formerly allied itself with reli- 
gious enthusiasm. On casting a glance over our Europe, 
we are astonished at seeing two contradictory tilings, which 
should naturally exclude each other ; we see almost every- 
where a tendency to favour the propagation of liberal ideM^ 


and at the same time an iuclinatiou to increase the mass of 
armies ; it is difficult to explain a policy wliicli tends, on the 
one side, to multiply the apostles of lioerty, on the other to 
multiply soldiers ; which, by turns, proclaims a principle, and 
raises a regiment ; which speaks, at the same time, of re- 
cruiting, and of a constitution ; which appears never to have 
laws enough, and yet is insatiable of cannons and bayonets. 
It is easy to foresee the near and distant results of such a 
monstrous amalgamation.* Everything leads us to believe 
that these results, like those of the crusades and the influence 
of the pope in the middle ages, will not turn out entirely for 
the advantage of civilization. 

But without dwelling longer on these distressing reflec- 
tions, we will return to our subject, from which, perhaps, 
we have strayed too long. In the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries, the nations of Europe, subject to the authority 
of St. Peter, were united together by a tie more strong than 
that of liberty. This motive, this tie, which was that of 
the imiversal Church, for a length of time kept up and 
favoured the enthusiasm for and the progress of holy wars. 
Whatever may have been the origin of the crusades, it is 
certain they never would have been undertaken without that 
unity of reugious feelings which doubled the strength of the 
Christian republic. The Christian nations, by the agree- 
ment of their sentiments and their passions, showed the 
world all that can be done by enthusiasm, which increases 
by communication, and that lively faith, which, spread 
among men, is a miraculous power, since the Gospel accords 
it the faculty of moving mountains. In proportion as people, 
united by one same spirit, separated, and ceased to make 
one common cause, it became more difficult to collect toge- 
ther the forces of the West, and pursue those gigantic 
enterprises of which our age can scarcely perceive the 

It may have been observed, that the pontifical authority 
and the enthusiasm for the crusades experienced the same 
vicissitudes ; the opinions and the exaltation of the religious 
spirit which caused men to take up arms, necessarily, at the 

* M. Michaud is here more happy than uaaal in his political and 
philosophical reflections. We might fancy him prescient of the 2nd of 
December. — Taans. 

Vol. II.— 14 


same time, increased tlie influence of the sorereign poatiffiL 
But springs so active and so powerful could not poasiblj* 
last long ; they broke bj the violence with which thej were 

be popes, invested with authority^ without limit, exer* 
cised that authority without moderation ; and as the abuse 
of power brings on, sooner or later, its own niin, the empire 
of the sovereign pontiffs finished by declining as other em- 
pires have done. Their fall commenced with their long con* 
tests with Frederick ; all Europe waa called upon to jud^ 
their cause ; their power, founded upon opinion, the origin 
of which was entirely religious, lost much of its prestige by 
being given over to the discussions of men of the world. 

At the same time that the sovereign pontiffs abused their 
power, the spirit and enthusiasm that had produced the holy 
wars were likewise abused. Many Christian princes took 
the cross, sometimes to obtain the protection oi the ^opes ; 
sometimes as a pretext for assembbng armies, and enjoying 
the temporal advantages accorded to the soldiers of Cm-ist. 
The leaders of Christendom, without having originated the 
wars of the East, were eager to profit by them ; in the first 
place, to extend their dominions, and in the next to gratify 
violent passions. From that moment society sought other 
supports than that of the Holy See, and warriors another 
glory than that of the crusades. 

Thibault, king of Navarre, who, in his verses, had preached 
the war beyond the seas, was disgusted at the troubles ex- 
cited in Europe by the heads of the Church, and deplored 
with bitterness- a time full of felony ^ cnvjf, and treachery. 
He accused the princes and oarons of being without cour* 
tome, and reproached the popes with excommunicating 
those who were most in the right (ceux qui avaient le plui 
raisan). If a few troubadours still raised their voices to 
exhort Christians to take up the cross and arms, the greater 
part did not partake of their enthusiasm for the holy wan ; 
and beheld nothing in these pilgrimages beyond the seas, 
but the griefs of along absence, and the rigours of a pious 

In a Tenson* which has come down to us, Folquet de 

* A dispute upon an affair of gallantry, btCweea tfpo «r more trmiba- 
donn.— Taamb. 

HIBTOBT 07 THE CnUS.VrilS. 807 

Bomaofl aaka Blaccas, the model of troubadours and of 
kni^hta, whether he will go to the Holy Land? After 
haying answered that he Iotos and is beloved, and that he 
will remain at home with his lodye-love, (she was countess 
of Frovenoe), Blaccas thus ends his simple song : — 

** Jc fend ma p^aitenoef 
Entre mer et Darance, 
Aupres de son manoir." * 

** I will perform my penitenos 
Between the aea and swift Dnfancef 
Near to my lady's bower/' 

These sentiments belonged to the manners of trouba- 
dours and knights ; but at the time of the first crusadeSy 
religious ideas were much more mixed up with ideas of 
gaUantry ; a poet, invited to take the cross, would not have 
dared to speak of his ladye-love,t without likewise speaking 
of the mercy of God and the captivity of Jerusalem. 

During the other crusades, the reh'gion and morality of 
the Gospel resumed their empire, and spread their benefits 
everywhere; at the voice or the holy orators, Christians 
became penitent and reformed their morals ; all political 
tempests were laid by the simple name of Jerusalem, and 
the West remained in profound peace4 It was not so at 
the period we have juit described; Europe was perhaps 
never more agitated, or, perhaps, more corrupted than 
during the thirty years whidi this crusade lasted. 

In the relations between the Christians and Mussulmans, 
little respect had, to this time, certainly, been paid to 
treaties ; out in this crusade, contempt for sworn faith and 
forgetfulness for the laws of nations were carried to an ex- 
treme : signing a truce was a preparation for war ; — the 

* These verses are quoted by M. Raynourd in hia grammar of the 
Romance language. 

t We have but to compare the piece of the Provenfal with that of 
Kaoal de Coorcy, who died in the third crusade. 

X M. Michaud's parental partiality for his elder bom makes him very 
obUvious. If we look back to his own account of the morals of the early 
crusadeSr particularly those of Jerusalem, we cannot see the justice ox 
these remarks. The Cmiaders only ** remembered to be piona and peni* 
tent" when they experienced reverses. — Trans. 


Christian iarniies owed their safety to a treatj of peace ; and 
the sovereign pontiff, far from respectiug the conditions of 
it, preached a new crusade against the infidels. It must be 
allowed, also, that the most solemn treaties were often 
violated by the Mussulmans. The duration of peace de- 
pended solely upon the want of power in both parties to 
resume hostilities with advantage. The least hope of success 
was suiBcient to induce them to fly to arms ; the slightest 
circumstance was an excuse for rekindling all the flames of 
war. The continuator of William of Tyre says, with great 
ingenuousness, when speaking of the death of a sultan ot 
Damascus : '* When the sultan died, all the truces died 
with him.'' These words alone are sufficient to give an idea 
of the state of the East during the sixth crusade, and of 
the small degree of respect then entertained for the laws of 
peace and war. 

If, in the preceding crusade, the expedition of the soldiers 
of the cross against Greece did not produce great advan- 
tages to the West, it at least illustrated the arms of the 
Venetians and the French. In the war we have just de- 
scribed, the knights and barons who took the cross, added 
nothing to their glory or their renoN^-n. The Crusaders who 
were fortunate enough to revisit their homes, brought back 
with them nothing but the remembrance of most shame- 
ful disorders. A great number of them had nothing to 
show their compatriots but the chains of their captivity; 
nothing to communicate but the contagious disorders of tho 

The historians we have followed are silent as to the ravages 
of the leprosy among the nations of the West ; but the 
testament of Louis VIII., an historical moniunent of that 
period, attests the existence of two thousand leproseriea 
(hospitals for lepers) in the kingdom of France alone. This 
horrible sight must have been a subject of terror to the 
most fervent Christians ; and was sufficient to disenchant, in 
their eyes, those regions of the East, where, till that time, 
their imaginations had seen nothing but prodigies and 

Among the abuses then made of the spirit of the cru- 
sades, and the misfortunes they brought in their train, we 


must not forget the civil and religious wars of which Prance 
and several other countries of Europe were the theatre. In 
their expeditions into the East, Christians had become fami- 
liarized with the idea, of employing force and violence to 
change men*s hearts and opinions. As they had long made 
war against infidels, they were willing to make it, in the 
same manner, against heretics ; they first took up arms 
against the Albigeois, then against the pagans of Prussia ; 
for the same reason, and in the same manner, that they had 
armed themselves against the Mussulmans. 

Modem writers have declaimed with great vehemence and 
eloquence against these disastrous wars ; but long before the 
age in which we live, the Church had condemned the excesses 
of blind fanaticism.* Saint Augustine, St. Ambrose, the 
fathers of councils, had long taught the Christian world that 
error is not destroyed by the sword, and that the truths of 
the Gospel ought not to be preached to mankind amidst 
threats and vidences. 

The crusade against the Prussians shows us all that am- 
bition, avarice, and tyranny can exhibit that is most cruel 
and barbarous ; the tribunal of history cannot judge with 
too much severity the leaders of this war, the ravages and 
furies of which were prolonged during more than a century ; 
but, whilst condemnm^ the excesses of the conquerors of 
Prussia, we must admit the advantages Europe gained by 
their victories and exploits. A nation that had been separ 
rated from all other nations by its manners and customs, 
ceased to be a foreigner in the Christian republic. Industry, 
laws, religion, which marched in the train of the conquerors, 
to moderate and remove the evils of war, spread their bless- 
ings among hordes of savages. Many fiourishing cities 
arose from amidst the ashes of forests, and the oak of 
Reihove,t beneath the shade of which human victims had 
been immolated, was replaced by churches, in which the vir- 
tues and charity of the Gospel were inculcated. The con- 

* It may be questioned whether the weapons since employed for the 
fame purpose, the canning and the tongue of Jesuits, were not in all 
senses as bad as the sword and lance of the Crusaders. — Trans. 

t The city of Thorn was built on the spot where the consecrated oak 


quests of the Bomans were sometimes more unjust, their 
wars more barbarous ; they procured less advantages to the 
civilized world, and yet they have never ceased to be objects 
of the admiration and eulogy of posterity. 

The war against the Albigeois was more cruel and more 
unfortunate than the crusade directed against the nations of 
Prussia. Missionaries and warriors outraged, by their con- 
duct, all the laws of justice and of the religion whose 
triumph they pretended to aim at. The heretics, naturally, 
sometunes employed reprisals against their enemies; both 
sides armed with the steel and axe of murderers and 
executioners, humanity had to deplore the most guilty 
excesses. , 

When casting a retrospective glance over the annals of 
the middle ages, we ore particularly grieved to see sangui- 
nary wars undertaken and carried on in the name of a reli- 
gion of peace, whilst we can scarcely find an example of a 
religious war among the ancients and under the laws of 
paganism.* We must believe that modem nations ajid 
those of antiquity have, and had the same passions ; but, 
amongst the ancients, religion entered less deeply into the 
heart of man or into the spirit of social institutions. The 
worship of jhlse gods had no positive dogma ; it added no- 
thing to morality ; it prescribed no duties to the citizen ; it 
was not bound up with the maxims of legislation, and existed, 
in some sort, only upon the surface of society. When 
paganism was Attacked, or when a change was effected in 
the worship of false gods, the affections, morals, and inter- 
ests of pagan society were not deeply wounded. It was not 
thus with Christianity, which, particularly in the middle 
ages, mixed itself up with all civil laws, recalled man to all 
the duties due to his country, and united itself with aU the 
principles of social order. Amidst the growing civilization 
of Europe, the Christian religion was blended with all the 
interests of nations ; it was, in a manner, the foundation of 

* We may name, among the Greeks, the sacred war undertaken for the 
lands which helonged to the temple of Delpbos ; but on reading closel? 
the history of this war, it is easy to see that they did not fight for a dogma 
or a religious opinion, as in the wars wUch, among the modems, have 
had religion for a motiTe or a pretence. 


all society; it was sociely itself: we cannot wonder, then, 
that men were passionate in its defence. Then all who 
separated themselTes from the Christian religion, separated 
themselves from society ; and all who rejected the laws of the 
Church, ceased to acknowledge the laws of their country. 
We must consider the wars against the Albi^eois and the 
Prussians in this light ; they were rather social wars than 
religious wars. 



A.D. 1242—1245. 

Whsk I began this work, I was far from being aware ot 
tbe task I waa imposing upon mTself ; animated hj the in- 
terest of my subject, full of a too great confidence in my 
own powers, like those villagers who, when they set out for 
the nrst crusade, fancied every city they saw to be Jerusa- 
lem, I constantly believed I was approaching the end of my 
labours. As I advanced in my career, the horizon expanded 
before me, difficulties multiplied at every step, so that to 
sustain my courase, I have often been obliged to recall to 
my mind the kindness with which the early volumes of this 
history have been received by the public. 

The difficulty did not consist in placing a narrative of the 
holy wars before our readers ; it became necessary to present 
exact ideas of the manners and characters of the nations 
which, in any way, took part in them. We have endea- 
voured to make all the peoples known who have in turn 
passed across the scene: the Franks, with their ^soldier- 
like roughness, their love of glory, and their generous pas- 
sions; the Turks and Saracens, with their military reli- 
gion and their barbarous valour; the Grreeks, with their 
corrupted manners, their character at once superstitious and 
frivolous, and their vanity, which with them supplied the 
place of patriotism : a new nation is now about to ofier 
itself to tne pencil of history, and mingle 'with the events 
of which we are attempting to give the picture. "We are 
about to say a few words upon the manners and conquests 
of the Tartars in the middle ages. 

The hordes of this nation, at the period of the sixth cru- 
sade, had invaded several countries ol Asia, and the progress 


of their arms had a great influence oyer the policy of the 
MuflsulmBn powers of Syria and Egypt, which were then at 
war with the Christians. At the time of which we are 
speaking, the fame of their victories filled the East, anil 
spread terror eren to the most remote countries of Europe. 

The Tartars inhabited the vast regions which lie between 
ancient Emaiis, Siberia, China, and the Sea of Kamschatka ; 
they were divided into several nations, which all boasted of 
having the same origin ; each of these nations, governed by a 
khan, or supreme leader, was composed of a great number of 
tribes, each tribe commanded by a particular chief, called 
Myrza. The produce of the chase, the milk of their mares, 
and the flesh of their flocks, satisfied the simple wants of the 
Tartars; they lived under tents with their families; and 
moveable dwellings, drawn by oxen, transported from one 
place to another their wives, their children, and all they 
possessed. In summer, the whole tribe drew towards the 
northern countries, and encamped upon the banks of a river 
or a lake ; in winter; they directed their course southward, 
and sought the shelter of mountains that could protect them 
fix>m the icy winds of the north. 

The Tartor hordes assembled everj^ year, in either autumn 
or spring. In these assemblies, which they called Oouraltat^ 
they debberated on horseback, upon the march of the tribes, 
the distribution of the pasturages, and peace and war. It 
was from the bosom of this tumultuous assembly that issued 
the legislation of the people of Tartary ; a simple and laconic 
legislation, like those of all barbarous nations, whose only 
objects are to maintain the power of the leaders, and keep 
up discipline and emulation among the warriors* 

The nations of Tartary acknowledged one God, the sove- 
reign of heaven, to whom they offered up neither incense 
nor prayers. Their worship was reserved for a crowd of 
genii, whom they believed to be spread through the air, 
upon the earth, and amidst the waters ; a great number of 
iools, the rough work of their own hands, filled their dwell- 
ings, followed them in their courses, and watched over their 
flocks, their slaves, and their families. Their priests, brought 
up in the practices of magic, studied the course of the stars, 
predicted luture events, and employed themselves in abusing 
the minda of tibe people by soroMy. TbA veligioiia ynns 


ship, whicli inculcated no morality, had neither softened 
their rude manners nor ameliorated their character, which 
was as boisterous and unkindly as their climate. No monu- 
ment raised under the auspices of religion, no book inspired 
by it, reminded them of deeds of glory, or laid before them 
precepts and examples of yirtue. In the course of their 
wandering life, the dead, whom they sometimes dragged with 
them in their waggons, appeared to them an anpoying burden, 
and they buried them in haste in retired places ; where, covering 
them with the sands of the desert, they were satisfied with 
concealing them from the eyes or the outrages of the living. 

Everything that might nx them to one spot rather than 
another, or lead them to change their manner of livhig, ex- 
cited the animadversion and dmdain of these races. Of all the 
tribes that inhabited Mogul Tartary, one alone was acquainted 
with writing, and cultivated letters ; all the rest despised com- 
merce, arts, and learning ; which constitute the true splen- 
dour of polished societies. The Tartars disdained the idea 
of building ; in the twelfth century their vast country con- 
tained but one city,* the extent of which, according to the 
monk Eubruquis, did not equal that of the little town of 
Saint Denis. Confining themselves to the care of their 
flocks, they regarded agriculture as a degrading occupation, 
only fit to employ the industry of slaves or conquered people. 
Their immense plains had never become yellow with harvests 
sown by the hand of man ; no fruit had there ripened which 
he had planted. The spectacle most agreeable to a Tartar 
was the desert, upon which grass grew without cultivation, 
or the field of battle covered with ruin and carnage. 

As the limits of their pastures were under no regulation, 
frequent quarrels necessarily arose among the Tartars ; the 
spirit of jealousy constantly agitated the wandering hordes ; 
the ambitious leaders could endure neither neighbours nor 
rivals. Thence civil wars ; and from the bosom of civil wars 
issued a fully-armed despotism, to support which the people 

* Karakoroam, the residence of the principal branch of the snccewora 
of Gengiskhan. It is only lately that the true situation of this city has 
been fixed by M. Abel-Remnsat ; it was on the left bank of the Orgon, 
not hr from the junction of that river with the Selinga to the south of the 
Lake of Baikal, by the 49^^ of latitude and the 102^ of longitude. The 
nine country hu nnos been tha residence of the Girnnd Lama. 


flocked with cheerfulness, because it promised them con 
quests. Tlie entire population was military, to whom fighting 
appeared to bo the only true glory, and the most noble 
occupation of man. The encampments of the Tartars, their 
marcnes, their hunting-parties, resembled military exhibi- 
tions. Habit imparted so much ease and firmness to their 
seat on horseback, that they took their food, and even in- 
dulged in sleep, without dismounting. Their bow, of an 
enormous size, announced their strength and skill; their 
sharp steel-headed arrows flew to an immense distance, and 
struck down the bird amidst its rapid career, or pierced 
through and through the bear or tiger of the desert ; they 
surpassed their enemies in the rapidity of their evolutions ; 
they excelled them in the perfidious art of fighting whilst 
flying ; and retreat was often, for them, the signal of victory. 
All the stratagems of war appeared familiar to them ; and as 
if a fatal instinct had taught them all that could assist in 
the destruction of the human race, the Tartars, who built 
no cities, knew how to construct the most formidable 
machines of war, and were not unacquainted with any means 
that could spread terror and desolation amon^ their enemies. 
In their expeditions, their march was never impeded by the 
inclemency of seasons, the depth of rivers, the steepness of 
precipices, or the height of mountains. A little hardened 
milk, diluted with water, sufficed for the food of a horseman 
during several days ; the skin of a sheep or a bear, a few 
strips of coarse felt, formed his garments. The warriors 
showed the most blind obedience to their leaders, and, at 
the least signal, were ready to encounter death in any shape. 
They were divided into tens, hundreds, thousands, and tens 
of thousands ; their armies were composed of all that could 
handle the bow or lance ; and what must have caused their 
enemies as much surprise as terror, was the order and dis- 
cipline that prevailed in a multitude that chance seemed to 
have gathered together. According to their military legis- 
lation, the Tartars were never allowed to make peace but 
with a conquered enemy ; he who fled from battle, or aban- 
doned his companions in danger, was punished vnth death ; 
they shed the blood of meli with the same indifference as 
that of wild animals, and their ferocity added greatly to the 
terror which they inspired in their enterprises. 

816 HI8X0BY Cnt Tfil CBU8ADX8. 

The Tartars, in their pride, despised all other natioiui, and 
believed that the whole world ought to be subject to them. 
According to certain opinions, transmitted from age to age, 
the Mogiu hordes abandoned the north to the dead they left 
behind them in the deserts, and kept their faces constantly 
directed towards the south, which was promised to their 
valour. The territories and the riches of other nations 
excited their ambition; and, possessing neither territories 
nor riches themselves, they had almost nothing to fear from 
conquerors. Not only theu* warlike education, but their pre- 
judices, their customs, the inconstancy of their character, 
everything with them seemed to favour distant expeditions 
and warlike invasions. They carried with them neither 
regrets, nor endearing remembrances from the countries they 
abandoned ; and if it be true, when we say that country is 
not within the walls of a city, or the limits of a province, but 
in the affections and ties of family, in the laws, manners, 
and customs of a nation, the Tartars, when changing their 
climate, had always their country with them. The presence 
of their wives, of their children ; tlie sight of their flocks and 
their idols, everywhere inflamed their patriotism, or love of 
their nation, and sustained their courage. Accustomed to 
consult their own inclinations, and take them for their sole 
rule of conduct, they were never restrained by the laws of 
morality or by feelings of humanity ; as they had a profound 
indifference for all the religions of the earth, this incufbrence 
even, which aroused no hatred in other nations, facilitated 
their conquests, by leaving them the liberty of readily re- 
ceiving or embracing the opinions and creeds of the people 
they conquered, and whom they thus completely subjected 
to their laws. 

In very remote antiquity, the hordes of Tartary had 
several times invaded the vast regions of India, China, and 
Persia, and had extended their ravages even into the West : 
the ambition or the caprice of a skilful leader, excess of 
population, want of pasturage, the predictions of a wizard, 
were ^uite sufficient to inflame this tumultuous race, and 
precipitate them in a mass upon distant regions. Woe to 
the people whom the Tartars encountered in their passage ! 
At their approach, empires fell with a horrible crash ; nations 
were driven back upon one another, like the waves of the 


sea ; the world was shaken and covered with ruins. History 
has preserved the remembrance of several of their invamons ; 
the most remote posterity will never pronounce without a 
species of terror the names of the Avari, the Huns, the 
Heruli, of all those wandering nations who, some flowing 
from the depths of Tartarj, and others dragged in the wake 
of the conquerors or driven before them, poured down upon 
the tottering empire of the Bomans, and divided the spoils 
of the civilized world amongst them : in the middle ages, 
the wars of the Tartars were compared to tempests, inunda- 
tions, or the bursting forth of volcanoes ; ana the resigned 
nations believed that the justice of Gk>d held these innume- 
rable swarms of barbarians in reserve in the north, to pour 
out his anger upon the rest of the earth, and chastise cor- 
rupted nations by their hands. 

The Tartars never proved themselves more redoubtable 
than under the reign of G^ngiskhan. Temugin, which was 
the first name of the heroic barbarian, was bom of a prince 
who reigned over some hordes of ancient Mogulistan.* 
Traditions relate that the seventh of his ancestors was 
engendered in the womb of his mother by the miraculous 
influence of the rays of the sun. At the birth of Temugin, 
his family remarked with joy some coagulated blood in the 
hands of the infant, a sinister presage for the human race, 
in which flattery or superstition saw the future glory of a 
conqueror. Some historians inform us that nothing was 
neglected in the education of Temugin ; others, more worthy 
of faith, affirm that he cotdd not read ; but all agree in 
saying that he wab bom for war, and to command a warlike 
people. Endowed with great penetration of mind, and with 
a sort of eloquence, knowing how to dissemble in season, 
skilful in working upon the passions, uniting bravery to a 
boundless ambition, that was never checked by any scruple, 

* M. Petis de Lacroix has published a life of Gengiskhan, accordiog to 
Eastern authors. This history, though fable is sometimes mixed ^th 
truth, is one of the best works that can be consulted. M. Deguignes, in 
his History of the Huns, has spoken at great length of the Tartars and of 
Gengiskhan ; he announces that be has deviated from the account of Petis 
de I^roix ; but as he does not always name the sources from which he 
has drawn, he does not inspire perfect confidence for this part of bis his- 
tory. We find some details upon Gengiekhan in La Bibiiotheque Orteii- 
tale of D'Herbelot. 


be had all the qualities and all the vices which lead to empire 
among barbarians, and sometimes even among polished 
nations. His natural propensities developed themselves in 
adversity, which hardened his character, and taught him to 
brave everything in order to carry out his designs. From 
the age of foiuieen, despoiled of his paternal heritage, and 
a fugitive with the khan of the Karaites, he sacrificed witho\\t 
pain the most holy duties of hospitalily to his futuro gran- 
deur. The khan of the Karaites was known by the name of 
Prester John among the Christians of the middle a^es,* 
who celebrated his conversion to Christianity, and consi<&red 
him as one of the most fervent apostles of the Gospel, 
which, doubfcless, he never had known. He confided the 
care of his states to voung Temugin, who insinuated himself 
into the favour of t\xe armv, and dethroned his benefactor. 
As he had outraged all the laws of morality to usurp empire, 
he violated all the laws of humanity to maintain hunseu in 
it. Seventy of his enemies plunged into seventy caldrons 
of boiling water, and the skull of the chief of the Karaites 
enchased in a golden box, announced very plainly what the 
master was whom fortune was about to place over the 
nations of Asia. 

Victory was to achieve what treachery, violence, and in- 
gratitude had begun ; the arms of Temugin and his lieu- 
tenants subdued successively all the hordes whose camps 
arose between the wall of China and the Volga. Temugm 
was the all-powerful leader of many millions of shepherds 
and warriors, impatient to quit their own dimate and mvade 
the regions of the south. In order to attach the companions 
of his victories to his fortunes, he was desirous of reigning 
b^ their suffi*ages, and called together a coviraltaa or gener^ 
diet, in which he was proclaimed sovereign of the Moguls. 
The ambition of Temugin did not neglect the influence of 
superstition ; he took the title of Qengis, kin^ of kingg, or 
master of the worlds and fame gave out that he had received 

* The Chronicles of the middle ages often epeak of Prester John. A 
letter written by a prince of this name to Louis VII. has been presenred. 
Seven barbaroas princes have been reckoned who bore the name of Prester 
John. The researches made to ascertain the troth would be uninteresting 
nowadays. — See the Precis de la Geographit VnivtnelU^ by M. Malta 
Bmn, tom. i. p. 441. 


this pompons title from a prophet who descended from 
heaven upon a white horse. 

Eastern historians have praised Gengiskhan for having 
given laws to nations he had conquered. These laws, the 
aim of which was to maintain the peace of families, and to 
direct the minds of the people towards war, for a length of 
time retained the obedience and the respect of the Moguls. 
As Gengiskhan, in his legislation, acknowledged one God, 
the sovereign of the earth and heaven, and, at the same 
time, permitted all kinds of creeds, some modem writers 
have taken occasion to boast of his religious tolerance. But 
what could be the tolerance of a savage conqueror, who 
caused himself to be styled the son of the sun, the son of 
God ; who himself followed no worship, and to whom all 
religions were equally indifferent, provided they crossed 
neither his ambition nor his pride P 

The lieutenants and warriors of Gengiskhan had recog- 
nised him with the greater joy, as universal conqueror and 
master of the earth, from the hopes they entertained of en- 
riching themselves with the spoils of all the nations subdued 
by his arms. His first enterprises were directed against 
China, of which ' ^.*e he had been the vassal. Neither 
the barrier of the great wall, nor the ascendancy of know- 
ledge and arts, nor the use of gunpowder, said to be then 
known among the Chinese, was able to defend a flourishing 
empire against the attacks of a multitude, whom the thirst 
for booty and a warlike instinct, urged forward to face perils, 
and rendered invincible. 

The wars we have seen in our days, and of which we de- 
plore the calamities, give nothing but a feeble idea of these 
gigantic invasions, in which many millions of men perished 
by sword and famine. China experienced twice all the evils 
inseparable from a war which appeared to be directed by 
the genius of destruction ; and, in the space of a few 
' years, the most ancient and the most powertiil kingdom of 
Asia, covered with blood and ruins, and deprived of half its 
population, became one of the prminces of the new empire 
founded by the shepherds of Mogulistan. 

The conquest of Carismia soon followed that of China ; 
Carismia was close to the frontiers of the Mogul empire, 
and, on one side extended to the Gulf of Persia, and on the 


other, to the limits of Lidia and Turkistan. Grenffie learnt 
that a Tartar carayan and three of his amhassadors nad been 
massacred in one of the cities of the Carismians. It is easy 
to imagine the effect that this news would produce upon the 
emperor of the Moguls, who himself compared the anger 
of Kings to the fire of conflagrations, which the lightest 
wind maj light up.* After having fasted and prayed, during 
three days and three nights, upon a mountain, where a 
hermit announced to him, the second time, the conquest of 
the whole world, the terrible Gengiskhan commenced his 
march, at the head of seven hundred thousand Tartars. This 
army met that of the Carismians on the banks of the 
Jaxartes; Mahomet, sultan of Carismia, who had several 
times carried his victorious arms into Turkistan and Persia^ 
commanded the host of the Carismians. The plain in which 
this battle was fought was covered by twelve hundred thou- 
sand combatants ; the shock was terrific, the camaee horri- 
ble ; victory was adverse to Mahomet, who, from niat day, 
together with his family and the whole of his nation, sunk 
into the lowest abyss of misfortune. 

The cities of Otrar, Bochara, Samarcand, Candahar, and 
Carismia, besieged by an innumerable multitude, fell in turn 
into the power of the conqueror, and witnessed the extirpa- 
tion of their garrisons and inhabitants. We cannot sup- 
press a feeling of pity when history presents to us, on one 
side, an entire population flying from their devastated homes, 
to seek an asylum in deserts and mountains ; and on the 
other, the family of a powerM monarch dragged into slaveiy 
or ^aning in exile ; and this monarch himself, whose pros- 
perity all Asia had boasted or envied, abandoned by his sub- 
jects, and dying with misery and despair in an island of the 
Caspian Sea. 

Tne army of Gkngiskhan returned to Tartary, loaded with 

* According to what we know of Gengiskhan, we shoald with difficolty 
believe that among modern historians he has been able to find panegyrists ; 
bnt Petis de Lacroix has not been able to avoid the example of moat his- 
torians, who generally appear infatuated by the hero whose life they are 
writing. An Arabian historian relates, that on learning the massacre of 
his ambassadors, Gengiskhan was not able to refrain from tears. Here 
Petis de Lacroii is very angry with the Arabian, and reproaches him 
bitterly with having given the emperor of the Moguls a feminine ch&nctier. 
All others, says he, have given a portrait of him more worthy of a hero. 


the spoils of Garismia: the soTereign of the Moguls* ap- 
peared to form the desire of governing his conquests m 
peace ; but the world, agitated by his victx)ries, and alwajrs 
eager to throw off his yoke, together with the warlike spirit 
of his nation, to whom ho had afforded a glimpse of the 
riches of other people, would not permit him agam to enjoy 
repose ; he was on the point of undertaking a third expedi- 
tion against China, which seemed disposed to rebel, when 
deajh put an end to his career. Some nistoriaus assert that 
he was struck dead by thunder, as if Heaven had deter- 
mined itself to crush the instrument of its wrath ;t others, 
much more worthy of belief, inform us that the Tartar hero 
died in his bed, surrounded by his children, to whom he re- 
commended to preserve union among themselves, that they 
might achieve tne conquest of the world. Octai, the eldest 
of his sons, succeeded him in the empire, and, according to 
the custom of the Moguls, the great men assembled and 
said to him, " "We wish, we pray, we command you to ac- 
cept of entire power over us.* The new emperor answered 
by this formula, which contains the whole spirit of the 
despotic governments of the East : " If you desire that I 
should be your khan, are you resolved to obey me in every- 
thing ; to come when I shall call you, to so where I shall 
Bend you, and to put to death all those I shall command you 
to kill?" After they had answered " Tes," he said to 
them, "Henceforth my simple word shall serve me as a 
Bword." Such was the government of the Tartars. Octai 
was about to reign over an empire composed of several 
great empires; his brothers and nephews commanded the 
innumerable armies that had conquered China and Carismia; 
they governed in his name in the north, in the south, and 
the east, kingdoms of which the extent was scarcely known ; 
each of his lieutenants was more powerful than the greatest 

* There have been long disputes upon the terms Mogul and Tartar. 
We think we can make out, amidst much uncertainty, that the Moguls 
originally formed a distinct tribe of the vast countries of Tartary ; and 
that the Tartars, being in great numbers in the armies of the conquering 
Moguls, obliterated in a degree the names of their conquerors in the king- 
doms of Europe and Asia to which these armies penetrated. 

t Father Gaubil has translated a Chinese history of Gengiskhan ; thia 
history yields but little information, and gives no curious details but upon 
the family and the successors of the conqueror. 

822 HI8D0BT or THE 0BV8AJ>X8. 

kings of the earth, aad all obeyed him u bis Blavea. For 
the first time, perhaps, ooncord waa preserved among con« 
querors ; and this monstrous union effected the ruin of idl 
the nations of Asia : Turkistan, Persia, India, the southern 
nrovinces of China^ which had escaped the ravages of the 
nrst invasion, all that remained of the empire of the Abas- 
sides and of that of the Seljoucides — ^all fell before the arms 
of the redoubtable posterity of Gengiskhan. Many of the 
sovereigns whom, in these days of disord^ and calamity, the 
chance of war hurled from their thrones, had invoked the 
succour of the Moguls, and favoured the enterprises of that 
warlike people against neighbouring or rival powers. For* 
tune enveloped them all in the same ruin, and oriental his* 
tory compares them to the three dervises whose indiscreet 
wishes and prayers reanimated, in the desert, the bones 
of a lion, who sprang up from the bosom of the sand and 
devoured them. 

The conquest of the richest countries of Asia had inflamed 
the enthusiasm of the Tartars to such a degree, that it would 
have been impossible for their leaders to confine them within 
the limits of their own territories, or bring them back to the 
peaceful labours of pastoral life. Octai, whether desirous 
of obeying the paternal instructions, or whether he felt the 
necessity of employing the restless and turbulent activi^ of 
the Moguls, resolved to turn his arms towards the "West. 
Fifteen hundred thousand shepherds or warriors inscribed 
their names upon the military register ; five hundred thou- 
sand of the most robust were selected for the great expedi- 
tion ; the others were to remain in Asia, to maintain the 
submission of the vanquished nations, and complete the 
conquests commenced by G-engiskhan. Bejoicings, which 
lasted forty days, preceded the departure of the Mogul 
army, and were as a signal of the desolation they were abo^t 
to spread among the countries of Europe. 

In their rapid course, the Tartars crossed the Volga, and 
penetrated, almost without obstacle, into Muscovy, then a 
prey to the fury of civil war. The devastation of their 
country, the conflagrations of Kiow and Moscow, and the 
disgraceful yoke that so long oppressed these northern 
regions, were the punishments due to the feeble resistance 
of the Muscovites. After the conquest of Eussia, the mol- 


titude of Moguls, led by Baton, son of Tuli, directed tbeir 
victorious course towards Poland and the frontiers of Ger- 
many, and repeated, whererer they went, the horrors of 
Attila and his Huns. The cities of Lublin and Warsaw 
disappeared on their passage, and they laid waste both shores 
of the Baltic. In vam the duke of Silesia, the Polish pala- 
tines, and the grand master of the Teutonic order, united 
their forces to arrest the progress of this new scourge of 
Gtod ;* the generous defenders of Europe succumbed upon 
the plains of Lignitz, and nine sacks, filled with human 
ears, were the trophy of the victory of the barbarians. The 
Carpathian mountams presented but a feeble barrier to 
these invincible hordes ; and the Tartars soon burst like a 
feari^ tempest over the territories of those Hungarians 
who, two centuries before, had, like them, quitted the deserts 
of Scythia, and conquered the fertile banks of the Danube. 
Bela, king of Hungaiy, had recently attracted forty thou- 
sand families of Comans into his dominions, who betrayed 
him; the palatines and magnates of the kingdom were 
divided among themselves, and not even the aspect of dan- 
ger could induce them to unite or submit themselves to the 
laws of the monarch. Disobedience, treachery, and discord, 
delivered the whole kingdom up to the furies of a pitiless 
enemy ; the flocks, the harvests, the entire wealth of the 
country, became the prey of the Moguls ; half the popula- 
tion was exterminatea. Of all the cities of Himgary, only 
three offered an earnest and true resistance, and thus pre- 
served themselves from scenes of carnage and destruction. 
The shepherds of Scythia, who could not read, have left to 
the vanquished the task of describing their conquests, and 
we have great difficulty in crediting the accounts of the pld 
Hungarian chronicles, when they describe the unheard-of 
cruelties by which the Moguls disgraced thoir victories ;t 
but several provinces entirely depopulated and changed into 

* Matthew Paris speaks of the terror which the Mogpils spread throngh 
Europe : his history contains an exhortation to all the nations of the West 
to fly tA arms ; each nation Is in this history characterized by an honour- 
able and flattering epithet. 

t The reader may consult Thuroetiut, vol. i., Rerum Htmgoricttmmt 
and particularly the Carmen MwerabiU of Roger of Hungary, caoon of 
Taradin, who has described in poetical prose the disasters t>f which ha 
himself was a witness. 


deserts, the ruins of two thousand churches, fifty destroyed 
cities, the traditions of these great disasters transmitted 
from age to age, and the terror that pervaded Europe, are 
evidences so worthy of faith, that we cannot reject them. 

In the general consternation, it is surprising that the 
Moguls did not direct their arms against the Latin empire of 
Constantinople, then menaced by the G-reeks, and little hotter 
than a ruin ; but the shepherds of the desert did not employ 
themselves in inquiries concerning the interior revolutions 
of states or of the signs of their decav ; they preserved, as 
did all the nations of Asia, a vague and conftised idea of the 
power of the armies of ancient Byzantium, but took little 
need whether the moment were come to attack it and con- 
quer it. The great advantages which the imperial city derived 
from its position between Europe and Asia, did not at all 
strike the Tartars, who were ignorant of both navigation 
and commerce, and infinitely preferred rich pastures to the 
sumptuous edifices of great capitals. Thus we may equally 
believe, either that the city of Constantino was protected on 
this occasion bv the memories of its past greatness, or that 
it owed its safety to the contempt and indifference of the 

The Franks established in Syria enjoyed the same good 
fortune as the Greeks of Byzantium. The armies of the 
Moguls had not yet crossed the Euphrates. 

Whilst the tumult of war and the fall of empires re- 
sounded from the Yellow Eiver to the Danube, the Christians 
of Palestine, protected by the discords of the Saracens, 
resumed possession of Jerusalem : they were beginning to . 
repair the walls of the holy city, and rebuild the churches ; 
and thanked Heaven in peace, for having preserved them 
from the scourges that were devastating the rest of the 
world. The Tartars were scarcely aware of the existence or 
the name of a country for which so much blood had been 
spilt, and were not likely to be attracted to the revered but 
barren banks of the Jordan, by either the hopes of booty 
or by the remembrances which excited the warlike enthu- 
siasm of the nations of the West. Happy would it have 
been for the Christian colonies, if a people, conquered by 
the Moguls, driven from their own territories, and seek- 
ing an asylum every^'here, had not come to disturb their 


transient securitj, and plunge the city of Christ into firesh 

After the death of Mahomet, sultan of Carisraia, his son 
G-elaleddin gathered together an army. The valour which 
he displayed in several battles astonished his enemies; and, 
for a moment, brought back to his standard the sad remains 
of his empire ; fortune favoured his expeditions into Georgia 
and India ; but at last he forgot the lessons of adversity 
amidst the intoxication of pleasures ; he lost all his con- 
quests, and perished miserably among the Curds, where he 
had sought refuge. The Carismian warriors, incessantly 
pursued oy the Tartars, abandoned a country they could no 
longer defend, and, under the command of one of their 
leaders named Barbakan, spread themselves through Asia 
Minor and Svna. 

These hordes, banished from their own country, marched^ 
sword and torch in hand, and, in their despair, seemed to 
wish to avenge ijpon other nations the evils they had suf- 
fered from the Tartars. History describes these furious 
bands, wandering along the banks of the Orontes and the 
Euphrates, dragging in their train a multitude of men and 
women that had fallen into their -hands ; a great number of 
waggons conveyed the spoils of the ravaged provinces thejr 
passed through. The most brave of them ornamented their 
lances with the hair of those they had immolated in fight. 
Clothed in the produce of pillage, their army presented a 
spectacle at once terrific and ridiculous. Tne Carismian 
warriors had no resource but in victory, and all the ha- 
rangues of their leaders consisted of these words : You will 
conquer, or you will die. They gave no quarter to their 
enemies on the field of battle ; when conauered themselves, 
. they submitted to death without a complaint. Their fury 
spared neither Christians nor Mussulmans ; all they met on 
their passage. were their enemies; their approach spread 
terror everywhere, put the distracted peoples to flight, and 
changed cities and towns into deserts. 

The Mussulman powers of Syria several times united in a 
league against the Carismians, and drove them back to the 
other side of the Euphrates. But the apirit of rivalry 
which at all times divided the princes of the family of 
Baladin, soon recalled an enemy always redoubtable notwith- 


standing defeats. At tbe period of which we are speaking, 
the princes of Damascus, Carac, and Emessa had just formed 
an alliance with the Christians of Palestiue ; they not onlj 
restored Jerusalem, Tiberias, and the principality of Ghdilee 
to them, but thej promised to join them, in the conquest of 
Egypt, a conquest for which the whole of Syria was making 
preparations. The sultan of Cairo, to ayenge himself upon 
the Christians who had broken the treaties concluded with 
him, to punish their new allies, and protect himself from 
their invasion, determined to apply for succour to the hordes 
of Carismia ; and sent deputies to the leaders of these bar- 
barians, promising to abancton Palestine to them, if thej 
subdued it. 

This proposition was accepted with joy, and twenty thou- 
sand horsemen, animated by a thirst for booty and slaughter, 
hastened from the further parts of Mesopotamia, disposed 
to be subservient to the vengeance or anger of the Egyptian 
monarch. On their march they ravaged the territory of 
Tripoli and the principality of Galilee, and the flames which 
everywhere accompanied their steps, announced their arrival 
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 

Portiiications scarcely commenced, and the small number 
of warriors in the holy city, left not the least hope of being 
able to repel the unexpected attacks of such a formidable 
enemy. The whole population of Jerusalem resolved to fly, 
under the guidance of the knights of the Hospital and the 
Temple. There only remained in the city the sick and a 
few mhabitants whp could not make their minds up to aban- 
don their homes and their infirm kindred. The Carismians 
soon arrived, and having destroyed a few intrenchments that 
had been made in their route, they entered Jerusalem sword 
in hand, massacred all they met, and as, amidst a deserted 
city the conquerors found no victims to glut their vengeance 
with, they had recourse to a most odious stratagem to lure 
back the inhabitants who had taken flight. They raised 
the standards of the cross upon every tower, and set all the 
bells ringing. The crowd of Christians who were retiring 
towards Jaffa, marched on in silence, and advanced but 
slowly, constantly hoping that Heaven would be touched by 
their misery, and, by some miracle, lead them back to the 
homes they had quitted : from time to time, their eyes in- 


yoluatarily turned towards the holy eitj. All at once thej 
saw the banners of the Cross unfurled, and the sound of tjbe 
aaored braes, which overy day called them to prayers, re- 
sounded in their ears. The news soon spread that either 
the barbarians had marched their army in another direction, 
or that they had been repulsed by the Christians who were 
left in the city. They became soon persuaded that God had 
token pity on his people, and would not permit the city of 
Christ to be defiled by the presence of a sacrilegious horde. 
Seven thousand fugitives, deceived by this hope, returned 
to Jerusalem and gave themselves up to the fury of the 
Carismians, who put them all to the sword. Torrents of 
blood flowed through the streets and along the roads. A 
troop of nuns, chil<ken, and aged people, who had sought 
refuge in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, were massacred ' 
at the foot of the altars. The Carismians finding nothing 
among the living to satisfy their ftiry, biurst open the sepul- 
chres, and gave the coffins and remains of the dead up to 
the ^mes ; the tomb of Christ, that of Godfrey of BouiUon, 
the sacred relics of the martyrs and heroes of the faith, 
nothiiifi; was respected, and Jerusalem then witnessed within 
its walls such cruelties and profanations as had never taken 
place in the most barbarous wars, or in days marked by the 
anger of God.* 

In the mean time, the grand masters of the Templars and 
the Hospitallers, assembled with the patriarch of Jerusalem 
and the nobles of the kingdom, in Ptolemais, endeavoured 
to devise means by which the Carismians might be repulsed 
and Palestine saved. All the inhabitants of Tyre, Sidon, 
Ptolemais, and other Christian cities, able to bear arms, re- 
paired to their standards. The princes of Damascus, Carac, 
andEmessa, whose assistance the Christians implored, united 
their forces, and assembled an army to stop the progress of 
the general devastation. This Mussulman army soon arrived 
in Palestine. Its appearance before the walls of Ptolemais 
raised the courage of the Franks, who, in so pressing a dan- 
ger, appeared to have no repugnance to fight in company 
with the infidels. Almansor, prince of Emessa, who com- 
manded the Mussulman warriors, had recently signalized 

* See in the Appendix the details which many of the Chroniolet giw of 
th9 r»va«fp of thaCaroniaof inP^ketiM. 


his yalour against tbe hordes of Cansmia. The Christians 
took pleasure in relating his yictones in the plains of 
Aleppo, and on the banks of the Euphrates. He was re- 
ceiyed in Palestine as a liberator, and carpets bordered with 
gold and silk were spread upon his passage. '' The people," 
says Joinville, '* considered him as one of the best barons of 

The preparations of the Ohristians, the zeal and ardour 
of the military orders, the barons, and prelates ; the union 
that subsisted between the Franks and their new allies, 
altogether seemed to form a presage of success in a war un« 
dertaken in the names of religion, humanity, and patriotism. 
The Christian and Mussulman armies, united under the 
same banners, set out from Ptolemais, and encamped upon 
the plains of Ascalon. The army of the Carismians advanced 
towards Gaza, where they were to receive provisions and 
reinforcements sent by the sultan of Egypt. The Franks 
became impatient to meet their enemies, and to avenge the 
deaths of their companions and brethren massacred at Jeru- 
salem. A council was called, to deliberate upon tlie best 
mode of proceeding. The prince of Emessa and the more 
wise among the barons thought it not prudent to expose the 
safety of the Christians and their allies to the nsk of a 
battle. It appeared to them most advisable to occupy an 
advantageous position, and wait, without giving battle, till 
the natural inconstancy of the Carismians, want of provi- 
sions, or discord, might assist in dispersing this vagabond 
multitude, or lead them into other countries. 

Most of the other chiefs, amon^ whom was the patriarch 
of Jerusalem, did not agree with this opinion, and could see 
nothing in the Carismians but an undisciplined horde that 
it would be very easy to conquer and put to flight : any 
delay in attacking them would only raise their pride and re- 
double their audacity. Every day the evils of war were in- 
creasing ; humanity and the safety of the Christian colonies 
required that they should promptly put an end to so many 
devastations, and that they should make haste to chastise 
the brigands, whoso presence was at once an opprobrium 
and a calamity for the Christians, and all the allies of the 

ThiB opinion, too oongenial with the impatient yalour of 


the Pranks, prevailed in the council. It was resolved to 
■ march, and oner the enemy battle. 

The two armies met in the country of the ancient Philis- 
tines. Some years before, the duke of Burgundy and the 
king of Navarre, surprised in the sandy plains of Gaza, had 
lost the best of their knights and soldiers. Neither the 
sight of places where the Crusaders had been defeated, nor 
the remembrance of their recent disaster, diminished the 
imprudent ardour of the Christian warriors ; as soon as 
they perceived the enemy, they were eager for the signal fop 
battle. The Christian army was divided into three Dodies ; 
the left wing, in which were the knights of St. John, was 
commanded by Qauthier de Brienne, count of Jaffa, nephew 
to king John, and son of that Gauthier who died at the con- 
quest of Naples. The Mussulman troops, imder the orders 
of the prince of Emessa, formed the right wing. The 
patriarch of Jerusalem, surrounded by his clergy, with the 
wood of the true cross borne belbre him, the grand master 
of the Templars with his knights, and the barons of 
Palestine with their vassals, occupied the centre of the 

The Carismians formed their line of battle slowly, and 
some degree of disorder was observable in their ranks. 
Ghiuthier de Brienne was anxious to profit by this circum- 
stance and attack them with advantage ; but the patriarch 
restrained his valour by a severity not less contranj" to the 
interests of the Christians than to* the spirit of the Gospel.* 

The count of Jaffa, having been excoUimunicated for de- 
taining in his hands a castle to which the prelate laid claim, 
asked, before he commenced the encounter in which he 
might lose his life, to be relieved from his excommunication. 
The patriarch twice rejected his prayer, and refused to 
absolve him. The army, which had received the benedictions 
of the priests and bishops, arising from their knees, awaited 
in silence the signal for battle. The Carismians had formed 
their line and advanced, uttering loud cries and discharging 

* Joinrille gives many particulars of this war which he had learnt 
daring his sojourn in Palestine. The continnator of William of Tyre may 
likewise he consulted. Matthew Paris has preserved two letters, one from 
the patri irch of Jerusalem, the other from the grand master of the Hos« 
piullen, which deecribe this hettie. 
Vol. 1L— 16 


a cloud of arrows. Tben the bishop of Bama, in complete 
armour, impatient to signalize his bravery against the 
enemies of the Christians, approached the count of Jaffa, ex- 
claiming, " Let us march, — the patriarch is wrong : I absolve 
you, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost." After having pronounced these words, the 
intrepid bishop of Eama and Gauthier de Brienne, followed 
by his companions in arms, rushed amidst the ranks of 
the enemy, burning to obtain victory or the crown of mar- 

The two armies were soon generally engaged, and mingled 
on the field of battle. The ardour to conquer was equal on 
both sides ; neither the Christians nor their enemies could 
be ignorant that a single defeat must cause their ruin, and 
that their only safety was in victory. On this account, the 
annals of war present no example of a more murderous and 
obstinate contest ; the battle began with the dawn, and only 
ended at sunset. On the following morning fighting was 
renewed with the same fury ; the prince of Emessa, after 
having lost two thousand of his horsemen, abandoned the 
field of battle, and fled towards Damascus. This retreat of 
the Mussulmans decided the victory in favour of the Caris- 
mians ; the Christians for a long time sustained the repeated 
shocks of the enemy ; but at length, exhausted by fatigue 
and over^'helmed by a multitude, almost all were either 
killed or taken prisoners. This sapguinary battle cost life 
or liberty to more than thirty thousand Christian and 
Mussulman warriors ; the prince of Tyre, the patriarch of 
Jerusalem, and some of the prelates, with great difiiculty 
escaped the slaughter, and retired to Ptolemais. Among the 
warriors who regained the Christian cities, there were only 
thirty-three knights of the Temple, twenty-six Hospitallers, 
and three Teutonic knights. 

When the news of this victory reached Egypt, it created 
a universal joy ; it was announced to the people by sound 
of drams and trumpets ; the sultan ordered public rejoicings 
throughout tlie provinces, and aU the public edifices of the 
capital were illumined during three nights. In a short 
time the prisoners arrived at Cairo, mounted on camels, and 
pursued by the insulting clamours of the multitude. Before 
their arriyaly the heada of their oompaiuons and brethren 

nisTouT or the cbusabes. 831 

killed at the battle of Gkza were exhibited on the walls. 
This horrible monument of their defeat foreboded all they 
had to fear for themselves from the barbaritj of the con- 
querors. They were cast into dungeons, where they were 
abandoned to the mercies of cruel gaolers, and where they 
had the melancholy satisfaction of embracing the barons 
and knights made prisoners in the last crusade. 

Whilst all Egypt was celebrating the victory of Guza, the 
inhabitants of Palestine deplored the death and captivity of 
their bravest warriors. As long as any hope existed of con- 
quering the Carismians with the assistance of the Mussul- 
mans of Syria, their alliance had created neither mistrust 
nor scruple; but reverses quicklv revived prejudices; the 
last disaster was attributed to divine justice, irritated by 
having seen the banners of Christ mingled with those of 
Mahomet. On the other hand, the Mussulmans believed 
they had betrayed the cause of Islamism by allying them- 
selves with the Christians ; the aspect of the cross on the 
field of battle awakened their fanaticism and diminished 
their zeal for a cause which appeared to be that of their 
enemies. At the moment of beginning the fight, the prince 
of Emessa was heard to pronounce these words : " I am 
armed for battle, and yet God tells me; in the depths of my 
heart, that we shall nofc be victorious, because we have 
sought the friendship of tlie Franks." 

The victory of the Carismians delivered up the greater 
part of Palestine to the most redoubtable enemies of the 
Christian colonies. The Egyptians took possession of Jeru- 
salem, Tiberias, and the cities ceded to the Franks by the 
prince of Damascus. The hordes of Carismia ravaged all 
the banks of the Jordan, with the territories of Ascalon 
and Ptolemais, and laid siege to Jaffa. They dragged the 
unfortunate Gauthier de Brienne in their train, hoping that 
he would cause a city that belonged to him to open its gates 
to them : this model of Christian heroes was fastened to a 
cross before the walls. Whilst thus exposed to the eyes of 
his faithful vassals, the Carismians loaded him with insults, 
and threatened him with instant death if the city of Jaffa 
ofiered the least resistance. Gauthier, braving death, ex- 
horted the inhabitants and the garrison, with a loud voice, 
to defend themselves to the last extremity. ^ Tour duty," 


cried he, '' is to defend a Christian oily ; mine is to die for 
you and Jesus Christ." The citj of Jaffa did not fall into 
the hands of the Carismians, and G-authier soon received 
the reward of his generous devotedness. Sent to the sultaa 
of Cairo, he perished heneath the hrutal hlows of a furious 
moh, and thus obtained the palm of martyrdom for which 
he had wished. 

In the mean time, fortune, or rather the inconstancy of 
the barbarians, came to the assistance of the Franks, and 
delivered Palestine from the presence of an enemy nothinc^ 
could resist. The sultan of Cairo sent robes of honour and 
magnificent presents to the leaders of the victorious hordes, 
proposing to them to crown their exploits by directing their 
arms against the city of Damascus. The Carismians imme- 
diately laid siege to the capital of Syria. Damascus, which 
had been hastily fortified, was able to oppose but a very 
slight resistance to their impetuous attacks. Having no 
hope of succour, they opened their gates, and acknowledged 
the domination of the sultan of Egypt. It was then that 
the Carismians, inflated by their victo^, demanded, in a 
menacing tone, that the lands that had been promised to 
them in Palestine should immediately be given up to them. 
The sultan of Cairo, who dreaded such neighbours, attempted 
to defer the fulfilment of his promise. In the fury which 
his refusal created, the barbanans offered their services to 
the prince whom they had just despoiled of his states, and 
laid fresh siege to Damascus, in order to deprive the Egyp- 
tians of it. The garrison and the inhabitants defended 
themselves with obstinacy ; the fear of falling into the hands 
of a pitiless enemy supplying the place of courage. All the 
evils that war brings in lier train, even famine itself^ appeared . 
to them a less terrible scourge than the hordes assembled 
under their ramparts. 

The sultan of Egypt sent an army to assist the city, which 
was augmented by the troops of Aleppo and of several of 
the principalities of Syria. The Carismians were conquered 
in two battles. After this double defeat. Oriental history 
scarcely mentions their name, or furnishes us with means of 
following their track. The greater part of those that escaped 
the sword perished with hunger and misery in the countries 
they had devastated ; the most brare and the best disciplined 


went to seek an asylum in the states of the sultan of Ico- 
nium : and if faith con be given to the conjectures of some 
historians,* thev were the obscure origin of the powerful 
dynasty of the Ottomans. 

The Christians of Palestine must have been grateful to 
Heaven for the destruction of the Carismians ; but the loss 
of Jerusalem and the defeat of Graza could not permit them 
to indulge in many joyful sensations. They had lost their 
allies, and could reckon upon nothing but enemies among 
the Mussulmans. The sultan of Egypt, whose alliance they 
had rejected, was extending his dommions in Syria, and his 
power "became every day more formidable. The cities which 
the Christians still retained on the coasts of the sea were 
almost all without defenders. The orders of St. John and 
the Temple had offered the sultan of Cairo a considerable 
sum for the ransom of his prisoners ; but the sultan refused 
to listen to their ambassadors, and threatened them with all 
the terrors of his wrath : these two bodies, formerly so much 
dreaded by the Mussulmans, were no longer able to serve 
the cause of the Christians with any advantage, and were 
compelled to wait, in a state of inaction, till the warlike 
nobuity^ of Europe should come to replace the knights held 
in captivity by the infidels, or swept away on the field of 
battle. The emperor of Germany made not the least effort 
to save the wreck of his feeble kingdom ; he had sent several 
warriors to protect his rights in Ptolemais; but as these 
rights were not recognised, the presence of the imperial 
troops only added to the other scourges that desolated the 
Holy Land, that of discord and civil war. 

Palestine, threatened every day with a fresh invasion, 
could not entertain the smallest hope of being succoured by 
the other Christian states of the East. The Comans, a 
barbarous people from the confines of Tartary, and who 
surpassed the hordes of Carismia in ferocity, ravaged the 
banks of the Orontes, and submitted everything in the 
principality of Antioch to fire and sword; the king of Armenia 
was in dread, at the same time, of the ravages of the Tar- 
tars, and of the aggressions of the Turks in Asia Minor ; 
the kingdom of Cyprus, a prey to factions, had recently been 

* Thif is the opinion of M. Degnignes, in hit Hktoire dm Hun$, 


the theatre of a civil war, and had reason to fear the incur- 
sions of the Mussulman nations of Syria and Egypt. In 
this deplorable situation, it might be believed that the king- 
dom of Godfrey was on the eve of perishing entirely, and 
that all that remained of the Christians in the Holy Land 
would soon share the fate of the Carismians. But, on 
turning their eyes towards the West, the Franks of Palestine 
again felt their hopes and their courage revive ; more than 
once the Christian states of Syria had owed their safety, and 
even a few days of prosperity and glory, to the excess of 
their abasement and misery. Their groans and complaints 
were seldom heard in vain by the warlike nations of Europe, 
and their extreme distress became almost always the signal . 
for a new crusade, the very report of which was enough to 
make the Saracens tremble. 

Valeran, bishop of Berytus, had been sent into the "West 
to solicit the protection of the pope and the assistance of 
princes and warriors. The pope received the envoy of the 
Christians with kindness, and promised his succour tp the 
Holy Land. But the West was at that period agitated by 
troubles : the quarrel that had broken out between the Holy 
See and the emperor of Germany was carried on with an 
animosity that disgraced both religion and humanity. Fre- 
derick II. exercised all sorts of violences against the court 
of Home and the partisans of the sovereign pontiff; the 
pope, every day more irritated, invoked the arms of the 
Christians against hisienemy, and promised the indulgences 
of the crusade to all who would minister to his anger. 

On another side, the Latins established at Constantinople 
were environed by the greatest perils. The emperor BaJd- 
win II., after having conducted a feeble reinforcement to 
his capital, had returned into the West, and was, the second 
time, soliciting the alms and the succours of the faithful to 
sustain the deplorable remains of his empire, exposed, almost 
without defence, to the attacks of' the Greeks and Bulga- 
rians. At the same time, the Tartars continued to ravage 
the banks of the Danube, and threaten Germany; their 
barbarous exploits had carried terror to the very extremities 
of Europe ; ever^'where the excited imagination of nations 
represented these terrible conquerors as monsters vomited 
u;) by hell, clothed in hideous forms, and endowed with 


Btrength against which no man was able to contend. The ' 
deficiency of communication, which did not allow of exact 
information as to their march, gave birth to the most 
frightful rumours. Eame declared at one time they were 
invading Italy, and immediately afterwards, that they were 
ravaging the banks of the Bhine; every nation dreaded 
their prompt arrival, every city believed they were at its 

It was amidst this general disorder and consternation, that 
Innocent IV., a refugee at Lyons, resolved to convoke an 
ojcumenic council in that city, to remedy the evils that de- 
solated Christendom in both the East and the West.* The 
Bovereiffn pontiff, in his letters addressed to the faithful, 
exposed the deplorable situation of the Eomish Church, and 
conjured the bishops to come around him, and enlighten him 
w^ith their counsels. The patriarchs of Constantinople, 
Antioch, and AauDaja, a great number of prelates and doc- 
tors, with several secular princes, responded to the invitation 
of the head of the Church. Among the crowd of bishops, 
one alone seemed to attract general attention ; this was tne 
bishop of Berytus ; his presence, and the grief impressed 
upon his brow, reminded the assembly of all the misfortunes 
of the Holy Land. Baldwin II., emperor of Byzantium, 
created very little less notice; and his suppliant attitude 
but too plainly showed what the empire toimded by the 
sixth crusade had become. 

Most of the Western monarchs had sent their ambassa- 
dors to this assemblj', in which the safety and the great 
interests of the Christian world were about to be discussed. 
Frederick in particular, who had so long been the object of 
the anger of the sovereign pontiff, neglected nothing to turn 
aside the thunders suspended over his head, and ministers 
invested with his confidence were commissioned to defend 
him before the fathers of the council. Among the deputies 
of the emperor of Crermany, history names Pierre Desvignes, 
who had written, in the name of Frederick, eloquent letters 
to all the sovereigns of Europe, to complain of the tyranny 
exercised by the Holy See ; and Thadaeus of Suesse, who was 
not prevented by the profession of arms from employing the 

* Consult Matthew Paris, and the AnnalcM EcclesiatiiqueSf for par* 
ticulan concerning the council of Lyoni. 


arts of eloquence, or fathoming the depths of the study of 
laws. The latter had often served his master with gloiy 
amidst the perils of war, hut he had never had an opportu* 
nitj of showing so much firmness, courage, and devotion as 
in this assembly, in which the court of Eome was about to 
put forth all its power and realize all its -threats. 

Before the opening of the council, the pope held a congre- 
gation in the monastery of St. Just, where he had chosen to 
nx his residence. The patriarch of Constantinople exposed 
the deplorable state of his church : heresy had resumed its 
empire in a great part of Greece, and the enemies of the 
Latin church were advancing to the very gates of Constan- 
tinople ; the bishop of Berytus read a lel^r, in which the 
patriarch of Jerusalem and the baroDS and prelates of Pales- 
tine described the ravages of the Carismians, and showed 
that the heritage of Christ was upon the point of becoming 
the prey of the barbarians, if the West did not take arms 
for its defence. The dangers and misfortunes of the Chris- 
tians of the East affected the fathers of the council deeply. 
Thadseus, taking advantage of their emotion, announced that 
the emperor, his master, fully partook of their profound grief, 
and that he was ready to employ all his powers for the de- 
fence of Christendom. Frederick promised to arrest the 
Srogress of the irruption of the Tartars, to re-establish the 
omination of the Latins in Greece, to go in person to the 
Holy Land, and to deliver the kingdom of Jerusalem ; he 
still further promised, in order to put an end to all divisions, 
to restore to the Holy See all he had i^aken from it, and to 
repair all wrongs offered to the sovereign pontiff. Such 
lofty promises, made by the most powerful monarch of Chris- 
tendom, created as much joy as surprise in the greater part 
of the bishops ; the whole assembly appeared impatient to 
know what would be the reply of Innocent. The pope 
proved inflexible, and rejected with scorn propositions, as ne 
said, already made several times, and which had no other 
guarantee but the too suspicious loyalty of Frederick. He 
was determined to view the new protestations of the em- 
peror as nothing but a fresh artifice to deceive the Church, 
and turn aside the course of its justice. " The axe,^ ' added he, 
" w already lifted^ and ready to cut the roots of the tree;^' words 
very ill assorted with the charity of the Gospel, and which 


plainly show tliat Innocent had prepared the solemn pomp of 
a council with less purpose to oppose the foes of Christendom 
than to prepare the fall, and consummate the ruin of his 
personal enemy. 

The pope lield this preparatory sitting in order to make a 
trial of his strength, and to become acquainted with the dis- 
positions of the bishops. A few days afterwards, the coun- 
cil was opened with great solemnity in the metropolitan 
church of St. John ; the sovereign pontiff, wearing the tiara, 
and clothed in pontifical robes, was placed upon an elevated 
seat, having on his right hand the emperor of Constanti- 
nople, and on his left the count of Provence and the count 
of Thoulouse. After having given out the Vent Creator , and 
invoked enlightenment from the Holy Ghost, he pronounced 
a discourse, for the subject of which he took the five griefs 
with which he was afflicted, and compared them to the five 
wounds of the Saviour of the world upon the cross. The 
first was the irruption of the Tartars ; the second, the schism 
of the Greeks ; the third, the invasion of the Holy Land by 
the Carismians ; the fourth, the relaxation of ecclesiastical 
discipline and the progress of heresy ; and the fifth, the 
persecution he endured from Frederick. 

Whilst describing the misfortunes of Christendom, the 
pontiff could not restrain his tears. His voice, if we may 
believe a contemporary historian, was often stifled by sobs ; 
he conveyed to all hearts the sentiments by which he was 
affected ; but he soon abandoned the language of compassion 
and despair, and assumed that of anger and menace. The 
Tartars, the Carismians, and the Mussulmans, inspired him 
with less hatred than the emperor of Germany, and it was 
for this prince he reserved all the thimders of his eloquence. 
He reproached him, in the most vehement expressions, with 
all the crimes that could draw upon his head the maledic- 
tions of his age, the hatred of his contemporaries,, and the 
contempt of posterity. When the pope had pronounced his 
discourse, a profound silence reigned throughout the assem- 
bly ; it appeared to the greater part of the terrified bishops 
that the voice of Heaven had made itself heard for the pur- 
pose of condemning Frederick : all eyes were turned upon 
the deputies of the emperor, and no one could believe that 
either of them would dare to reply to the interpreter of the 



anffer of Heaven. All at once Thadseus of Suesse arose, and 
addreBsed tlie council, calling upon Grod, who searches all 
hearts, to witness that the emperor was faithful to all his 
promises, and had never ceased to endeavour to serve the 
cause of the Christians. He combated all the accusations of 
the sovereign pontiff, and in his reply did not hesitate to 
allege numerous complaints against the court of Eome.* 
The angry pope replied from his lofty throne; he again 
accused the emperor, and evinced but too great a desire to 
find him guilty: the first sitting of the coimcil, entirely 
occupied with these violent debates, exhibited the unedifying 
spectacle of a contest between the head of the faithful, who 
accused a Christian prince of perjury, felony, heresy, and 
sacrilege ; and the minister of an emperor, who reproached 
the court of Some with having exercised an odious des- 
potism, and committed revolting iniquities. 

This contest, tho results of which were likely to prove 
equally injurious to the head of the Church and the head 
of the Empire, was prolonged during several days ; it doubt- 
less scandalized all those that the pope Iiad not associated 
with him in his resentments, and most of the bishops must 
have been afflicted at being thus diverted from the principal 
object of the convocation. 

At length, however, the calamities of the Eastern Chris- 
tians, the captivity of Jerusalem, and the dangers of Byzan- 
tium engaged the attention of the fathers of the council. 
•The pope and the assembly of prelates decided that a new 
crusade should be preached for the deliverance of the Holy 
Land and the Latin empire of Constantinople. They re- 
newed all the privileges granted to Crusaders by preceding 
popes and councils, as well as all the penalties directed 
against such as should favour either pirates or Saracens : 
during three years all who should take the cross would be 
exempted from every kind of tax or public office ; but if after 
taking tho vow they did not perform it, they incurred ex- 
communication. The council recommended to the barons 
and knights to reform the luxury of their tables and the 
splendour of their dress ; they advised all the faithful, and 
particularly ecclesiastics, to practise works of charity, and to 

* Matthew Paris affords some very cnrioos details upon the couqclI of 
L701U ; ts Pire Labbe m^y also be consoltad. 


arm themselves with all the austerities of penitence against 
the enemies of God. In order to obtain the protection of 
Heaven by the intercession of the Holy Virgm, the pope 
and the fathers of the council ordered that the octave of the 
Nativity should be celebrated in the church. In several 
councils Christian knights had been forbidden to take part 
in the profane solemnities of tournaments ; the council of 
Lyon renewed the prohibition, persuaded that these military 
festivals might turn aside the minds of the warriors from the 
pious thoughts of the crusades, and that the expenses they 
occasioned would render it impossible for the bravest of the 
lords and barons to make the necessary preparations for the 
pilgrimage beyond the seas. The council ordered that the 
clergy should pay the twentieth part of their revenue, and 
the sovereign pontiff and cardinals the tenth of theirs, to 
provide for the expenses of the holy war. Half of the 
revenues of all non-resident benefices was specially reserved 
for the assistance of the empire of Constantinople. The • 
decrees of the council ordered all whose mission it was to 
preach the word of God, to urge princes, counts, barons, and 
the corporations of cities, to contribute to the extent of their 
power to the success of the holy war ; the same statutes re- 
commended the clergy to show to the faithful that sacrifices 
ofiered to the crusade were the surest means of redeeming 
their sins; but above all they recommended the clergy to 
excite the faithful, in the tribunal of penitence, to multiply 
their offerings, or at least to bequeatn in their testaments 
something for the assistance of the Christians of the East. 

It was thus the council declared war against nations 
opposed to the Christians, and prepared means for assuring 
the triumphs of the soldiers of Christ. "We are nevertheless 
surprised that the pope said nothing about preaching a 
crusade against the Tartars, whose invasion he had com- 
pared to one of the wounds of the Saviour on the cross. In 
the state of desolation in which Hungary was, then placed, 
none of the bishops of that unfortunate kingdom had been 
able to appear at the council, and no friendly voice was 
raised to direct attention to, or implore favour for the Hun- 
garian nation. The Tartars, it is true, repulsed by the duke 
of Neustadt, had fallen back from the banks of the Danube ; 
but there was great reason to dread their return : to prevent 

840 UISTOBX Of THS 0BUSiJ)£8. 

fresh inyasions, the council contented itself with advising 
the Gbrmans to dig ditches and build walls on the roads the 
Tartarian hordes were likely to take. These measures, which 
even then must have been known to be insufficient, assist us 
at the present day in forming an opinion of the spirit of im- 
providence and blindness which then presided over political 
councils. Who can fail to be surprised at seeing, in an 
assembly so grave as a council, Europe pressed to lavish its 
treasures and sacrifice its armies for the deliverance of Con- 
stantinople and Jerusalem, whilst the most redoubtable of 
the barbarians were at their doors, and theatening to invade 
their own territories ? 

We may, however, remark, that Frederick himself had 
solicited the powers of Europe to assist him in repelling the 
Tartars ; and the pope took much less interest in succouring 
the empire than ne did in endeavouring to wrest it from 
Frederick. Innocent seemed very little disposed to set an 
example of that spirit of concord and charity which the 
council had just recommended to Christian princes; history 
can but deplore the zeal and ardour he evinced in carrying 
out his projects of vengeance against the emperor of Ger- 
many, at the risk of arousing evil passions, of perpetuating 
discord, and thus giving up the West to the invasion of the 
barbarians. In the second sitting of the council he waa 
preparing to crush his enemy and completely overwhelm 
him with the weight of ecclesiastical power, when ThadsBus 
of Suesse demanded a delay of a few days, to allow the em- 
peror to come in person to justify his conduct and demon- 
strate his loyalty. The defender of Frederick hoped that 
the presence of a powerful monarch, by awakening in the 
minds of the assembly the respect due to the majesty of 
kings, would bring about the triumph of justice. The pope 
consented, though very unwillingly, to deier the accomplish- 
ment of his menaces ; but the emperor could not condescend 
to appear as a suppliant before an assembly convoked by 
the most implacable of his enemies : he did not come to the 
council, and when the required period of delay had expired, 
the sovereign pontiff took advantage of his absence to re- 
proach him afresh with his bad faith, and his Feaistance to 
the laws of the Chuidu 


At the moment in which the aaaemhly of thd bishops 
tremblingly awaited the terrible sentence, the English am- 
bassadors arose to complain of the agents of the court of 
Bome, whose ambition and avarice were mining the kingdom 
of England; thej at the same time protested against the 
feudal supremacy which the pope, in consequence of a ces- 
sion made by lung John, pretended to exercise over the 
English monarchy and nation. These claims could not 
restrain the ever-boiling anger of the sovereign pontiff. In 
yffdn Thadieus again rose to urge that a great number of 
bishops were absent — that several princes had not sent their 
ambassadors to the council; in vain he declared that he 
should appeal from this to a more numerous and more solemn 
council ; nothing could turn aside the storm or retard the 
hour of vengeance. Innocent at first replied with modera- 
tion to the deputies of England, and even to those of Fre- 
derick ; but soon assuming the tone of a judge and a master, 
" I am," said he, " the vicar of Jesus Christ ; all that which 
I shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, according to 
the promises of the Son of God made to the prince of the 
a})ostles; and ;therefore, after having deliberated upon it 
with our brethren the cardinals, and with the council, I 
declare Frederick attainted and convicted of sacrilege and 
heresy, to be excommimicated and degraded from the em- 
pire ; I absolve from their oaths, for ever, all who have sworn 
fidelity to him ; I forbid any, under pain of excommunica- 
tion incurred by that single fault, to henceforth yield him 
obedience; to conclude, I command the electors to elect 
another emperor, and I reserve to myself the right of dis- 
posing of the kingdom of Sicily." 

During the reading of this sentence, the pope and the 
prelates held lighted wax tapers in their hands, and bent 
towards the earth in sign of malediction and anathema. 
The envoys of Frederick retired filled with confusion and 
despair ; Thadseus of Suesse was heard to pronounce these 
words of the Scripture : " O terrible day ! O day of anger and 
calamity .' " A deep and melancholy silence prevailed through- 
out this assembly, into the bosom of which it appeared as if 
the bolts of heaven had just fallen amidst awful peals. The 
pope abne appeared collected, and his couutenanoe was 


radiant with joy ; he gave out the Te Deum, as if he had 
obtained a victoiy oyer the infidels, and declared that the 
council had terminated its labours. 

Such was the council of Lyons, too celebrated in the annals 
of the middle ages, which has frequently supplied the enemies 
of religion with a pretext for attacking the judgments of the 
Church. The pope in his opening discourse had deplored 
the progress of heresy ; but always more eager to combat 
the enemies of his power than those of religion, he did not 
propose a single measure to arrest the progress of the new 
errors. In this council, which had no tendency to the en- 
lightenment of the faithful, the majesty of kings was violently 
outraged ; all the maxims of the rights of nations, and all the 
precepts of scriptural charity were in it trampled under foot. 
When Innocent announced the intention of deposing the 
emperor, not a single bishop raised his voice to divert the 
sovereign pontiff from this revolting use of his power. The 
real wrongs that Frederick had committed against the 
Church ; the remembrance of the persecutions he had exer- 
cised towards several bishops ; the intention which they be- 
lieved he entertained of plundering the clergjr ; the threaten- 
ing language and tone of the pope ; that invmcible influence 
under which all feel themselves m a numerous assembly — all 
assisted in preventing any of the bishops from pleading the 
cause of reason or recalling the maxims of the Uospel to the 
mind of the enraged pontiff. Nevertheless the fathers of the 
council, whatever might be their prejudices or their resent- 
ments, did not take part in all the fury of Innocent, and did 
not actively assist in carrying out his acts of injustice and 

The pope did not appeal to their wisdom, and seemed 
afraid to ask their opinions. Without repeating here that 
which has frequently been said in schools of theology, im- 
partial history must disapprove of the silent neutrality of tho 
council ; but it must at tne same time assert that the odious 
decree against Frederick was not an act of the Church ; that 
the bishops and prelates did not give their formal approba- 
tion to it ; and that the shame of this great iniquii^ fails 
entirely upon the memory of Innocent.* 

• We find in the grait theology of Toarnely (Traii/de VEgliie, torn, li.) 
a very learned ditsertatioD upon this deposition of the emperor Fiederiek II. 


It was at this deplorable period that the cardinals, by 
order of the pope, clothed themselves for the first time in 

at the first council of Lyons. This theologian asserts that the conndl 
had nothing at all to do with this great act of authority of Innocent IV., 
and brings seTeral reasons to support his opinion. We will quote some 
of them, leaving our readers to appreciate their value. 

*' Whilst all the bulls of the pope, published in council, begin by 
these words : ' We have decreed, with the approbation of the council,' 
according to the advice of the sacred council, &c. (sacro approbante 
concilio, ex communi concilii approbatione, statuimus),' we read at 
the head of the bull in question : * Sentence pronounced against the 
emperor Frederick by the pope, Innocent IV., in presence of the council 
(sacro prsesent« concilio),' an essential diflTerence, which is likewise 
observable in the body of the bull, when the sovereign pontiff only speaks 
in bis own name, and as holding the place of Jesus Christ upon earth. 
All the fathers of the council, says Matthew Paris, on hearing the sentence, 
tt^e ttruck vfith mrprue and horror^ sentiments they certainly would 
not have felt if they had had any part in the judgment. 

'* All the historians of the time attribute this act of authority to the 
pope, without even mentioning the council; and Frederick II., when 
accusing the incompt* tence of the judge, his partiality, his blindness, and 
his ingratitude, when writing to the kings of France and England and tho 
barons of his kingdom on the subject, only complains of the pontiff, and 
does not attach the least reproach to the prelates who composed the 
assembly. The sentence was considered as so completely the work of the 
pope, that the Church, v^hich received the decisions of the council, attached 
little importance to the bull, and that this bull became absolutely a party 
affair. U was rejected by a great number of the churches of Germany 
and Italy. The kings of France and England considered it as injurious to 
sovereign majesty, and continued to treat Frederick as legitimate emperor. 
It only rendered the wars between the Guelphs and Ghibellines more active 
and more inveterate. 

** The pope said truly that he had deliberated with the fathers of the 
council ; but he adds, that the deliberation turned upon no other object 
hut the excommunication of the emperor ; that he did not at all speak of 
the article of the deposition, and that thence came the surprise and horror 
which the prelates manifested 

** It is nevertheless objected that the pope and the fathers of the coun- 
cil, after the reading of the sentence, turned down the waxlights which 
they held and extinguished them, and that afterwards the pope gave out 
the Te Deum, in which the prelates assisted ; but Matthew Paris believes 
that the circumstances are here not exact. He thinks that some priests 
only, attached to the court of Rome, lent themselves to the passion of the 
pope against Frederick, and performed the ceremony of the waxlights, 
which may still further only relate to the excommunication ; otherwise 
how can we reconcile this passage of the historian with the surprise and 
horror that were manifested, according to him, in the assembly at the 
reading of the sentence. 

'* The pope did not even endeavotir to perroade anybody that he waa 


the scarlet robe, a symbol of persecution, and a sad presago 
of the blood that was about to flow. Frederick was at Turin 
when he heard of his condemnation ; at this news he'called 
for his imperial crown, and placing it upon his head, ex- 
claimed in a loud and angry voice, " There it is, and before 
it shall be wrested from me, my enemies shall well know tho 
terror of my arms ; lot this pontiff tremble, who has broken 
every tie that bound me to him ; he at length permits me 
henceforth to listen to nothing but the dictates of my just 
anger." These threatening words announced a formidable 
contest, and every finend of peace must have been seized 
with terror : the fury which animated the emperor and the 

supported by the aathority of the coancil. He declared that he should 
know bow to maintain irrevocably all thai he had done relative to 

After having discussed all these points, Toumely raises doubts upon 
the oecumenicity of the first council of Lyons. 

'* The council of Florence." says this theologian, " which makes an 
enumeration of the general councils held before that period, passes by 
that of Lyons in silence, and in fact several countries, as Germany, Italy, 
Spain, Brittany, Stveden, and Poland, had no bishops there ; there were 
few prelates from France or England. 

"In the same way the council of Constance, enumerating in a formula, 
that the pope about to be elected was to sign all the oecumenic councils 
which had preceded, only mentions one council of Lyons. Now, this 
could only be the second, for that was very solemn. There were more 
than five hundred bishops at it, as well from the East as the West, and 
the Greeks in it acknowledged the divine filiation,** 

Thadnus of Suesse, representative of the emperor Frederick IL at the 
council of Lyons, and zealous defender of the rights of that prince, appealed 
publicly from this council to a future general and cecumenic council. One 
of the causes which might, according to Toumely, lead several bishops 
into error, but which will appear very strange at the present day. was, 
that they imagined the empire really was a feudatory of the court of Rome. 
It is the sovereign pontiff, they say, who crowns the emperor ; he has then 
a particular and special right over the empire ; he can depose the head of 
it for a serious matter. Frederick, in his letters to the kings of France 
and England, mentions and combats strongly this ridiculous prejudice, 
and the foolish pretensions of the popes. Gregory IX., in a letter 
addressed to Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, informs him that 
Frederick is engaged by oath to go to the Holy Land, abandoning, if ho 
failed in his promise, his states and his person to the sovereign pontiff. 
According to this, the fathers might believe that the deposition was a con- 
sequence of the penalty the prince had incurred as a peijurer. We must 
refer to the ages in wlucfa these questions were agitated to appreciate dia 
hifinenoe they had upon events* 


pope quicklypassed into the minds of the people ; in the 
provinces of Grermany and Italy all flew to arms. Amidst the 
agitation in which the West was then plunged, it is probable 
that Jerusalem and the Holy Land would have been quite 
forgotten, if a powerful and highly-revered monarch had not 
placed himself at the head of the crusade which had been 
proclaimed in the council of Lyons. 

The preceding year, at the very moment the nations of the 
West heard of the last misfortimes of Palestine, Louis IX. 
of France fell dangerously ill. The most earnest prayers 
were offered up by the people of his kingdom for the pre- 
servation of the virtuous monarch. The malady, the attacks 
of which became every day more violent, at length created 
serious alarm. Louis sunk into a mortal lethargv, and the 
intelligence was soon circulated that he was dead. The 
court, the capital, the provinces were struck with the deepest 
grief ; nevertneless, the king of France, as if Heaven had not 
been able to resist the prayers and tears of a whole nation, 
recovered, even when apparently at the portals of the tomb. 
The first use he made ot speech, after again beholding the 
light, was to ask for the cross and express his determination 
of going to the Holy Lnnd. 

Those who surrounded him considered his return to life 
as a miracle effected by the crown of thorns of Christ, and 
by the protection of the apostles of France ; they cast them- 
selves on their knees to return thanks to Heaven, and in 
the joy they experienced, scarcely paid attention to the vow 
Louis had made of quitting his kingdom and going to fight 
against the irfidels in the East. AVhen the king began to 
recover his strength, he repeated his vow, and again asked 
for the cross of the Crusaders.* The queen Blanche, his 

* This great incident in the life of Louis IX. is differently, and indeed 
more strikingly, related by most French historians. ** When he felt him. 
self better, to the great astonishment of ali, he ordered the red cross to 
be affixed to his bed and his vestments, and made a tow to go and fight 
for the tomb of Christ. His mother, and the priests themselves, implored 
him to renounce his fatal design. It was all in vain ; and scarcely nas 
he convalescent than he called his mother and the bishop of Paris to his 
bedside, and said to them, * Since you believe that I was not perfectly 
myself when I pronounced my vows, there is my red cross, which I tear 
from my shoulders ; I return it to you : but now, when you must perceive 
that I am in the full enjoyment of all my facultiei, restore to me my croti ; 


mother, the princes of his family, and Pierre d'Auvergne, 
bishop of Paris, then endeavoured to divert him from his 
purpose, and conjured him, with tears in their eyes, to wait 
till he was perfectly restored to health before he directed his 
thoughts to so perilous an enterprise ; but Loms thought he 
was only obeying the will of Heaven. His imagination had 
been forcibly affected by the calamities of the Holy Land ; 
Jerusalem given up to pillage, the tomb of Christ profaned, 
were constantly present to his mind. Amidst the neight of 
a burning fever, he had fancied he heard a voice which came 
from the East, and addressed these words to him : " King of 
France^ thou seest the outrages offered to the city of Christ ; 
it is thou whom Heaven hath appointed to avenge them" 
This celestial voice resounded still in his ears, and would not 
allow him to listen to the prayers of firiendship or the coun- 
sels of human wisdom. Steadfast in his resolution, he re- 
ceived the cross from the hands of Pierre d*Auvergne, and 
caused it to be announced to the Christians of Palestine — 
sending them at the same time succours of both men and 
money — that he would cross the seas as soon as he could 
assemble an army, and had reestablished peace in his 

This information, which conveyed such joy to the Chris- 
tian colonies, spread grief and consternation through all the 
prorinces of France. The sieur de Joinville expresses warmly 
the regret of the royal family, particularly the despair of 
the queen mother,* by saying, that when this princess saw 
her son wearing the cross, she was struck as fearfuXlv as if 
she had looked upon him dead. The late disasters of Jeru- 
salem had drawn tears from most Christians in the West, 
but without inspiring them, as in the preceding age, with 
any earnest desire of going to fight the infidels. It was im- 
possible to see, in these fistant expeditions, anything but 
great perils and inevitable reverses ; and the project of 

for He who is acquainted with all things, knows also that no kind of food 
shall enter into my month until I have again been marked with His holy 
sign.' ' It is the hand of Henven/ cried all who were present ; * its wiU 
be done. ' " ( B<mnecho9e) . — Tr a ns. 

* English readers should acknowledge a familiar acquaintance in this 
excellent mother and good queen : she is the Lady BUmcke of Shakespear's 
King John, — Trans. 


recoyering the city of God awakened more alarm than 

The sovereign pontiff, however, sent eccleaiastica into all 
the Christian states with a charge to preach the holy war. 
Ciirdinal Eudes, of Chateauronx, arrived in France with the 
express commission of publishing and causing to be executed 
the decrees of the council of Lyons respecting the crusade. 
The holy expedition was preached in all the churches of the 
kingdom. Contemporary history scarcely mentions the effect 
of these preachings, and everything leads us to believe that 
those who then took the oath to fight against the Saracens 
were induced to do so more by the example of the king than 
by the eloquence of the holy orators. 

In order to give more solemnity to the publication of the 
crusade, and to excite the ardour of the warriors for the de- 
liverance of the holy places, Louis IX. convoked a parlia- 
ment in his capital, in which were assembled the prelates 
and magnates of the kingdom. The cardinal legate there 
repeated the exhortations addressed by the head of the 
Church to the faithful. Louis IX. spoke after the cardinal 
of Chateauroux, and retraced the picture of the disasters of 
Palestine. " According to the expression of David, an im- 
pious nation has entered into the temple of the Lord; 
blood has flowed like water around Jerusalem ; the servants 
of God have been massacred in the sanctuary ; and their 
remains, deprived of sepulture, are abandoned to the birds 
of heaven.'* After having deplored the miseries of Sion, 
Louis IX. reminded his barons and knights of the example 
of Louis the Young and of Philip Augustus ; he exhorted 
every generous soldier who heard him to take arms, to go 
across the seas, flglit against the infidels, and defend the 
glory of God and of the French name in the Bast. Louis, 
invoking by turns the charity and the warlike virtues of 
his auditory, endeavoured to awaken in all hearts both in- 
spirations of piety and sentiments of chivalry. There is no 
necessity for repeating what was the effect of the exhorta- 
tions and prayers of a king of France who addressed him- 
self to the honour, and appealed to the bravery of his subjects. 
He had scarcely ceased speaking, when his three brothers, 
Bobert, count d'Artois, Alphonse, duke of Poictiers, and 
Charles, duke of Anjou, took the oath to go and defend the 


heritage of Christ and the French colonies in Asia. Queen 
Marguerite, the countess d'Artois, and the duchess of Poic- 
tiers, likewise took the cross and resolved to accompany their 
husbands. Most of the bishops and prelates who were pre- 
sent at this assembly, influenced by the discourse of the 
king and the example of the cardinaHegate, did not hesitate 
to enrol themselves in a war for which, it is true, less en- 
thusiasm was shown than had appeared in a former age, but 
which was still termed the tear of Qod, Among the great 
vassals of the crown who swore to quit France for the pur- 
pose of fighting the Saracens in Asia, the friends of the 
French monarchy must have numbered, with much joy, 
Pierre de Dreux, duke of Brittany, Hugh, count de la 
Marche, and several other lords whose jealous ambition had 
60 long disturbed the kingdom. Quickly after them were 
seen the duke of Burgundy, Hugh de Chatillon, the count 
de St. Pol, the counts of Dreux, Bar, Soissons, Blois, Bhotel, 
Montfort, and Vcndome ; the seigneur de Beaujeu, constable 
of France, and John de Beaumont, great admiral, and great 
chamberlain ; Philip of Courtenay, Guy of Flanders, Ar- 
chambaud de Boiu*bon, voung Kaoul de Coucy, John of 
Barres, Gilles de Mailly, "feobert de Bethune, and Oliver de 
Thermes. There was not an illustrious family in the king- 
dom that did not supply one hero for the crusade. In the 
crowd of these noble Crusaders, history is gratified in ob- 
serving the celebrated Boileve, who was afterwards provost 
of the traders of Paris, and the sieur de Joinville, whose 
name will for ever appear in the history of France by the 
side of that of Louis IX. 

In the assembly of prelates and barons several measures 
were adopted for the maintenance of public peace and the 
preparations for the holy war. An immense number of pro- 
cesses at that period disturbed the peace of families, and 
those processes, of which many were decided by the sword, 
often amounted to actual wars. The tribunals were enjoined 
to terminate all affairs brought before them, and in cases in 
which they could not oblige the parties to acquiesce in a 
definite judgment, the judges were directed to make them 
Bwear to a truce of five years. In agreement with the 
authority of the pope, and the decrees of the council of 
Lyons, it was ordered that ecclesiastics should pay to the 


king tlie tentli of their revenues, which created a diBsatisfac* 
tion in the clergy that Louis had great trouble in dispelling. 
A proscript, issued by roval authority, in concert with the 
wilt of the pope, decreed that Crusaders should be protected 
during three years from the pursuits of their creditors, 
reckoning from the day of their departure for the Holy 
Land ; this proscript, which likewise excited much murmur- 
ing, had great effect in determining many barons and knights 
to leave the West. 

Louis IX. occupied himself constantly in carrying his 
design into execution, and neglected no means of winning to 
his purpose all the nobility of his kingdom ; his piety did 
not disaain to employ, for what he considered a sacred cause, 
all the empire that kings generally possess over their cour- 
tiers ; he sometimes even lowered himself to seduction and 
trick, persuaded that the sanctity of the crusade would 
excuse everything. Afler an ancient custom, the kings of 
France, at great solemnities, gave such of their subjects as 
were at court certain capes or furred mantles, with which 
the latter immediately clothed themselves before leaving the 
court. In the ancient comptes (a sort of audits) these capes 
were called livrees (whence, no doubt, our word livery), 
because the monarch gave them (les livrait) himself. Louis 
ordered a vast number of these to be prepared against 
Christmas Eve, upon which crosses were embroidered in 

gold and silk. The moment being come, ey&rj one covered 
imself with the mantle that had been given to him, and 
followed the monarch to the chapel. What was their 
astonishment when, by the light of the wax tapers, they at 
once perceived upon all before them, and then upon them- 
selves, the sign oi an engagement they had never contracted. 
Such was, however, the character of the French knights, 
that they believed themselves obliged to respond to this 
appeal to their bravery ; all the courtiers, as soon as divine 
service was ended, joined in the laugh with the skilful JUker 
of men,* and took the oath to accompany him into Asia. 

Notwithstanding all these efforts, the publication of the 
holy war created in the nation much more sorrow than waiv 
like ardour, and the approaching departure of the monarch 

• 8c»tn oiur Appendix this tut lelikted bp Mattiiew Paris. 


afflicted all France.' Queen Blanche, and the most pmdent 
of the ministers, who had at first endeavoured to divert 
Louis IX. from the crusade, repeated their attempts several 
times : resolved to make a last effort, thej went to the king 
in a body. The bishop of Paris was at their head, and 

rke for all; this virtuous prelate represented to Louis, 
t a vow made in the height of a disease ought not to 
bind him in an irrevocable manner, particularly if the in- 
terests of his kingdom imposed upon him the obligation of 
dispensing with it. " Everything demanded the presence of 
the monarch in his dominions ; the Poitevins were threat- 
ening to take up arms again ; the war of the Albigeois was 
ready to be rekindled ; the animosity of England was 
always to be dreaded, as it paid little heed to treaties ; the 
wars occasioned by the pretensions of the pope and the em- 
peror inflamed all the states adjoining to France, and the 
conflagration was not unlikely to extend to that kingdom." 
Many of the nobles to whom Louis had confided the most 
important functions of the state, spoke ailer the bishop of 
Paris, and represented to the monarch that all the institu- 
tions founded by his wisdom would perish in his absence ; 
that France would lose by his departure the fruits of the 
victories of Saintes and Taillebourg, with all the hopes that 
the virtues of a mat prince made her entertain. Queen 
Blanche spoke the last. " My son," said she, " if Providence 
has made use of me to watch over your infancy and preserve 
your crown, I have perhaps the right to remmd you of the 
duties of a monarch, and of the obligations which the safety 
of the kingdom over which Grod has placed you imposes upon 
you ; but I prefer speaking to you with the tenderness of a 
mother. Tou know, my son, that I can have but few days 
to live, and your departure leaves me only the thought of an 
eternal separation : nappy still if I die before fame may have 
borne into Europe the mtelligence of some great disasters. 
Up to this day, you have disdained both my counsels and my 
prayers ; but if you will not take pity on iny sorrows, think 
at least of your children, whom you abandon in the cradle ; 
they stand in need of your lessons and your assistance ; 
what will become of them in your absence r are they not aa 
dear to you as the Christians of the East ? U you were 
now in Asia, and were informed that your deaerted family 

HI8T0ET 07 THE CEU8AJ>S8. 35l 

was the sport and prey of factions, you would not fail to 
hasten to us. Well! all these evils that my tenderness 
makes me dread, your departure is most likely to give birth 
to. Eemain then in Europe, where you will have so many 
opportunities of displaying the virtues of a g^reat king, of a 
kmg the father of his subjects, the model and support of the 
princes of his house. If Christ requires his heritage to be de- 
livered, send your treasures and your armies into the East ; 
Grod will bless a war undertaken in his name. But this God, 
who hears me, believe me, never commands the accomphsh- 
ment of a vow which is contrary to the great designs of his 
providence. No ; that God of mercy who would not permit 
Abraham to complete his sacrifice, does not permit you to 
complete yours, and expose a life upon which so entirely 
depend both the fate of your family and the welfare of your 

On finishing these words. Queen Blanche could not restrain 
her tears ; Louis himself was deeply moved, and threw him- 
self into the arms of his mother ; but soon resuming a calm 
and serene countenance, he said : " My dear friends, you 
know that all Christendom is acquainted with my resolution ; 
during several months the preparations for the crusade have 
been carried on under my orders. I have written to aU the 
princes of Europe that I was about to leave my dominions 
and to repair to Asia ; I have announced to the Christians 
of Palestme that I would succour them in person ; I have 
myself preached the crusade in my kingdoms ; a host of 
barons and knights have obeyed my voice, followed n^yex- 
ample, and sworn to accompany me into the East. What 
do you now propose to me ? to change my projects publicly 
proclaimed, to do nothing that I have promised to do, or 
that Europe expects of me, and to deceive at once the hopes 
of the Church, of the Christians of Palestine, and of my 
faithful nobility. 

" Nevertheless, as you think that I was not in possession 
of my reason when I took the cross ; well, I give it back to 
you ; there is that cross which gives you so much alarm, and 
which I only took, you say, in a fit of delirium. But now 
that I am in the nill enjoyment of my reason I ask it of 
you again, and I solemnly declxure that no food shall enter 
my mouth until you have returned it to me. Your reproaches 


and jour complamts affect me with the deepest sorrow ; but 
leani to be better acquainted with my duties and your own ; 
aid me in seeking for true glory; second me in the powerful 
cause in which I am engaged, and do not alarm yourselves 
on account of my destiny or that of my family and people. 
The God who made me victorious at Taillebourg will watch 
over the designs and plots of our enemies ; yes, the Qt>d 
who sends me into Asia to deliver his heritage, will defend 
that of my children, and pour his blessings upon France. 
Have we not still her who was the support of my childhood 
and tlie guide of my youth, her whose wisdom saved the 
state in so many perils, and who, in my absence, will want 
neither courage nor ability to crush factions P Allow me, 
then, to keep all the promises I have made before God and 
before men ; and do not forget that there are obligations 
which are sacred for me, and ought to be sacred for you — I 
mean the oath of a Christian and the word of a king!" 

Thus spoke Louis IX.: Queen Blanche, the bishop of 
Paris, and the other counsellors of the king preserved a reli- 
gious silence, and from that time only thought of seconding 
the endeavours the monarch was making to forward the 
execution of an undertaking which appeared to emanate 
from GU)d.* 

The crusade was preached at this time in all the countries 
of Europe ; but as most states were filled with agitation and 
discord, the voices of the sacred orators were lost amidst the 
din of factions and the tumult of arms. When the bishop 
of Berytus went into England, to entreat the English 
monarch to succour the Christians of the East, Henry III. 
was fully employed in repelling the aggressions of the king 
of Scotland, and in appeasing the troubles of the country 
of Wales. The barons menaced his authority, and did not 
permit him to engage in a distant war. This prince not 
only refused to take the cross, but forbade the preaching of 
a crusade in his kingdom. 

* It is Matthew Paris who furnishes us with information relative to 
this attempt to persuade St. Louis. This is the chronicler that throws 
most light upon the events of that period ; such as the council of Lyons, 
the quarrel of Frederick and the pope, and the crusade of the king of 
France. We also find some details in William of Nangis, in JoiimUe» 
and in tlM BeeUnatHeal Asmah of B« jnaldi. 


All Germany was in a blaze in consequence of the quar- 
rel between the Church and the Empire. After having 
deposed the emperor at the council of Lyons, Innocent I v. 
offered the imperial crown to any one who would take up 
arms against the excommunicatea prince, and bring about 
the triumph of tlie Holy See. Henry, landgrave of Thu- 
ringia, allowed himself to be seduced by the promises of the 
sovereign pontiff, and was crowned emperor by the arch- 
bishops of Mayence and Cologne, and a few other ecclesias- 
tical electors. From that event civil war broke out in all 
parts ; Germany was filled with missionaries from the pope, 
with the power of the evangelical word against Frederick, 
whom they styled the most redoubtable of infidels. The 
treasures collected for the equipments of the holy war were 
employed in corrupting fidelity, laying plots, fomenting trea- 
sons, and keeping up troubles and discords ; so that it may 
weU be supposed the cause of Christ and the deliverance of 
Jerusalem were entirely forgotten. 

Italy was not less agitated than Germany ; the thunders 
of Borne, so often hurled at Frederick, had redoubled the fury 
of the Guclphs and the Ghibellines. All the republics of 
Lombardy were leagued in opposition to the party of the 
emperor ; the threats and the manifestoes of the pope would 
not allow a single city to remain neuter, or leave peace an 
asylum in the countries situated between the Alps and 
Sicily. The missionaries of Innocent employed, by turns, 
the arms of religion and of policy ; after having declared 
the emperor to be a heretic and an enemy to the Church, 
they represented him as a bad prince and a tyrant, and 
dazzled the eyes of the people with the charms of liberty, 
always so powerful a motive upon the minds of nations. 
The sovereign pontiff sent two legates into the kingdom of 
Sicily, with letters for the clergy, the nobility, and the peo- 
ple of the cities and country. *" We have not been able to 
see without some surprise," wrote Innocent, "that, bur- 
dened as you are, living under the opprobrium of servitude, 
and oppressed in your persons and your property, you have 
hitherto neglected the means of securing yourselves the 
sweets of liberty. Many other nations have presented you 
with an example ; but the Holy See, far from accusing you, 
is satisfied with pitying you, and finds your excuse in the 
Vol. U.— 16 


fear that must hold possession of your hearts under the joke 
of a new Nero." On terminating his letter to the Sicilians, 
the pope endeayoured to make them understand that God 
had not placed them in a fertile region and beneath a smil- 
ing sky to wear disgraceful chains ; and that by shaking off 
the yoke of the emperor of Germany, they would only 
second the views of Providence. 

Erederick, who had at first defied the thunders of Borne, 
was terrified at the new war declared against him by the 
pope. The interdict placed upon his states, the terrible 
array of the maledictions of the Church, strongly affected 
the minds of the multitude, and might at length shake the 
fidelity of his subjects ; he himself felt his courage forsake 
him ; his party in Italy grew weaker every day ; his armies 
had experienced some checks in Germany ; many conspira- 
cies had been formed against his life, ana amongst the con- 
spirators, he had the grief to find some of his servants 
whom he had loaded with kindnesses. This haughty 
monarch became convinced that he had no course but to 
seek a reconciliation with the Church, and addressed himself 
to Louis IX., whose wisdom and piety rendered him the 
arbiter of sovereigns and nations. Frederick, in his letters, 
promised to abide by the decision of the king of France and 
nis barons, and engaged, beforehand, to go in person to the 
conquest of the Holy Land, or to send his son, the king of 
the Komans. In order to interest Louis in his cause, the 
emperor offered to supply him with provisions, vessels, and 
everything he should stand in need of in the expedition to 
the £a8t. 

Louis cageriy embraced this opportunity for reestablish- 
ing peace in Europe and assuring the success of the holy 
war. Several ambassadors were sent to the pope at Lyons, 
conjuring the father of the faithful to listen to the voice of 
mercy rather than to that of anger. The king of France 
had two long conferences with Innocent in the monastery 
of Cluni, and supplicated him afresh to appease by his cle- 
mency the troubles of the Christian world ; but enmity had 
been carried too far to leave any hopes of peace ; it was not 
possible for Innocent and FredericK to pardon each other 
sincerely the outrages they had mutually committed. The 
emperor had spared neither threats nor yiolexioes against the 


popes ; lie did not hate them more for the injuries he hod 
received from them than for those he had done them. On 
the other side, it had for a length of time been determined, 
in the councils of Eome, to effect the overthrow of the house 
of Swabia, which was suspected, and with reason, of enter- 
taining the project of invading Italv and establishing the 
seat of imperial domination in the citj of St. Peter. This 
policy, embraced with ardour, had assumed all the character 
of a personal vengeance in the mind of Innocent. The 
triumph, even, of the pontiff, whilst flattering his pride and 
ambition, appeared to double his hatred, and the hope of 
completing the ruin of his enemy rendered him implacable. 

In vain the emperor of Germany, overcome by fear rather 
than won by the love of peace, promised to descend from his 
throne, and pass the remainder of his days in Palestine, on 
condition that he should receive the benediction of the pope, 
and that his son Conrad should be raised to the empire. This 
entire abnegation of power, this strange abasement of royal 
majesty, produced no efiect upon Innocent, who did not be- 
lieve, or fei^ed not to believe, the promises of rrederick ; 
in vain Louis IX., whose mind was incapaCle of suspecting 
imposture, represented to the pope the advantages that 
Europe, Christendom, and the court of Bome itself might 
derive from the repentance and offers of the emperor ; in 
vain he spoke to him of the vows and the safety of pilgrims, 
of the glory and peace of the Church ; the discourses of the 
holy king were scarcely listened to, and his pious mind could 
not view, without being moved with disgust, this inflexible 
rigour in the father of the Christian world. 

Whilst the report of these discords, upon gaining the 
East, spread joy among the infldels, the unhappv inhabitants 
of Palestine gave themselves up to despair on learning that 
so many untoward events retarded the 'preparations for the 
crusade. Several messages from the Christians beyond the 
seas wero sent to the sovereign pontiff to intercede for a 
prince from whom they hoped for such powerful assistance. 
The patriarch of Armenia wrote to the court of liome to 
demand favour for Frederick ; he demanded it in the name 
of the threatened Christian colonies ; in the name of the city 
of Grod, fallen into ruins ; in the name of the sepulchre of 
Christ, profimed by barbarians. The pope made no reply 


whatever to the patmrch of the Armenians, and appeared 
to have forgotten Jerusalem, the holj sepulchre, and the 
Christians of Syria ; he had, indeed, but one thought, — ^that 
of carrying on the war against Frederick. Innocent pursued 
his redoubtable enemy even to the East, and endeavoured to 
induce the sultan of Cairo to break his engagements with 
the emperor of Germany. The sultan of Cairo received, 
with as great joy as surprise, a message which informed him 
so authentically of the divisions that existed among the 
Christian princes ; he answered the pope with a severitv full 
of contempt ; and the more he was pressed to be unfaithful 
to the treaties made with Frederick, the more he affected to 
display a fidelity &om which he hoped to obtain an advantage 
over the Christian Church. 

It was at this period that the emperor of Germany, urged 
on to despair, in some sort justified the most violent pro- 
^ceedings of the court of Kome by his conduct. He could 
not pardon Louis IX. for having remained neuter in a 
quarrel that interested all Christendom, and if the Arabian 
historian Yafey may be believed, he sent an ambassador 
secretly into Asia to warn the- Mussulman powers of the 
expedition projected by the king of France, Throwing off 
at once the tone of submission to the pope, he resolved to 
repel force by force, and violence by violence. Some suc- 
cesses which he obtained in Germany, raised his courage, 
and completely dissipated all his scruples. He laid siege to 
the city of Parma, at the head of a formidable army. Hor- 
rible cruelties signalized hia first triumphs ; the bishop of 
Arezzo, who fell into his hands, with many other prisoners 
of war, were loaded with irons, and handed over to the 
executioner without even the ceremony of a trial. 

In the intoxication of success, Frederick threatened to 
cross the Alps, and attack Innocent within the walls of 
Lyons. Heaven, however, would not permit the execution 
of a project formed by hatred and revenge. The Guelpha 
beat and dispersed the imperial army. Fortune changed, 
and the irresolute character of Frederick changed as sud- 
denly with it. Victory had inflamed hia pride and redoubled 
his fury; a single defeat cast him into despondency, and 
rendered him again accessible to fear. From that tune he 
resomed the part of a tuppliaiat to the pope; fiom that 

HI8T0BT OI THX CRU8jU)E8. 857 

time protestatioxiB and prayers seemed to cost his terrified 
mind no efibrt. 

As the extent of his empire gave umbrage to the court of 
Borne, Frederick promised to (livide his dominions, and give 
Sicily to his son Henry, and Germany to his son Conrad. 
He submitted his religious belief to the examination of 
several bishops, and sent their decision to the pope. He 
went at last even so far as to promise to come in person to 
solicit the clemency of Innocent. The sovereign pontiff had 
just caused the count of Hollajid to be nominated emperor, 
in the place of the landgrave of Thuringia, who had died on 
the field of battle. In this state of tlmigs he dreaded less 
the hostilities and angry threats of Erederiek, than he did 
his protestations of submission and repentance. The sup- 
pUcations of princes and nations, who demanded favour ibr 
a power he wished to destroy, annoyed Innocent; they 
seemed to accuse him. in the eyes of Christendom, of obsti- 
nacy in his refusal, and without inducing him to renoimce 
his policy, only embarrrassed him in the execution of his 

The pope remained constantly inflexible ; but astonished 
Europe began to ask what powerful interest it was that 
commanded all these rigours. Frederick, pursued with so 
much inveteracy, found at length the number and zeal of 
his friends and partisans increase. Germany, Cologne, 
and several other cities, rejected the decrees of the Holy 
See, and proceeded to violent excesses. The angry popo 
launched all his thunders against the guilty, and by an 
injustice which characterizes these times of discord and ven- 
geance, many of the penalties he pronounced extended to 
the fourth generation. This senseless rage completed the 
alienation of men's minds, and the fanaticism of heresy was 
added to the furies of ci\'il war. 

As the court of Home, under the imposing pretext of the 
crusade, levied tributes in all the states of Europe to keep 
up the fire of sedition and revolt, so many violences, and so 
much injustice infused dissatisfaction everywhere, and gave 
birth to a spirit of opposition among nations even, that had 
been exempt from the consequences of the terrible quarrel. 
The commissaries of the Holy See ruined the provinces of 
France ; they pervaded the cities and countries, compelling 


the curates and chaplains of the nobles to sell all their little 
property ; they required from all, church dues; and from reli- 
gious communities, now the twentieth for the crusade against 
Constantinople, then the tenth for that of Palestine, and at 
last a contribution towards carrying on the war against the 
emperor. The French nobility, stimulated by a feeling of 
patriotism, by the spirit of chivalry which led all the prettx 
of that time to enter the lists against iniquity of any kind, 
and perhaps also by the fear of being oppressed in their 
turn, spoke loudly in favour of Frederick, and expressed 
their anger at seeing the kingdom of France a prey to the 
agents of the pope. Just remonstrances were at nrst made ; 
but in a short time no measures were observed, and they 
proceeded so far as to agitate the question, whether they 
ought to acknowledge a pontiff, whose conduct appeared so 
contrary to the spirit ot the Gospel, as the vicar of Jesus 
Christ. The principal French nobles at length formed a 
confederacy against the proceedings of the pope and the 
clergy. Throughout this new stn^gle, Louis IX., equally 
removed from that sacrilegious impiety which pretends to 
brave everything, and from that superstitious jpusiUanimity 
which believes itself obliged to suffer everything, managed 
to restrain the excesses of both parties, and maintain peace ; 
the league which was then formed, without embittering 
men's minds, succeeded in enlightening them; it servec^ 
during the absence of the king, to repress the enterprises of 
the Holy See, and many writers trace to this period the 
origin of those Q-allican liberties which have constituted the 
glory of the French clergy up to modem times. 

!^feverthele8s, Louis IX. was constantly employed in pre- 
parations for his departure. As no other route to the !Kast 
was availablo but that by sea, and as the kingdom of France 
had no port in the Mediterranean, Louis made the acquisition 
of the territory of Aigues-Mortes, in Provence ; the port, 
choked with sand, was cleansed, and a city large enough to 
receive the crowd of pilgrims was built on the shore. Louis 
at the same time busied himself in provisioning his army, 
and preparing magazines in the isle of Cyprus, where he 
meant to land. Thibault, count de Bar, and the sieur de 
Beaujeu, sent into Italy, found eveiything necessary for the 

HISTOnY 07 TH£ CBU8A])£S. 859 

provisioning and transport of an army, either in the republic 
of Venice, or in the rich provinces of Apulia and Sicily, 
whither the directions of the emperor Frederick had pre- 
ceded them. 

The fame of these preparations soon reached Syria, and 
the authors, of the times describe the Mussulman powers as 
struck with terror, and as immediately and earnestly em- 
ployed in fortifying their cities and their frontiers against the 
approaching invasion of the Franks. Such popular rumours 
as were then in circulation that history has deigned to pre- 
serve, accuse the Saracens of having employed perfidious 
means and odious stratagems to avenge themselves upon tho 
Christian nations, and ruin their enterprise. It was asserted 
that the life of Louis IX. was in danger from the emissaries 
of the Old Man of the Mountain ; it was reported in cities, 
and the multitude did not fail to give credit to it, that tho 
pepper which came from the East was empoisoned; and 
Matthew Paris, a grave historian, does not hesitate to affirm 
that a great number of persons died of it before this horrible 
artifice was discovered. We may well believe that the policy 
of the time itself invented these gross fables, to render the 
enemies they were about to combat more odious, and that 
indignation might increase and animate the courage of the 
warriors. It is natural also to suppose, that such rumours 
had their origin in popular ignorance, and that they gained 
credit from the opmion that was then entertained of the 
manners and charticters of infidel nations. 

Three years had passed away since the king of France 
assumed the cross. He convoked a new parliament at 
Paris, in which he at length fixed the departure of the holy 
expedition for the month of June of the following year 
(1248). The barons and prelates renewed with him the 
promises of fighting against the infidels, and engaged to set 
out at the period assigned, under the penalty of incurring 
ecclesiastical censures. Louis took advantage of the mo- 
ment that the magnates of his kingdom were assembled in 
the name of religion, to require that they should take tlio 
oath of fealty and homage to his children, and to make 
them swear (these are the expressions of Joiuville) " that 
they should be loy^ to his mmily, if any misadventure 


should befall bis person in tbe holy voyage beyond the 

It was then that the pope addressed a letter to the nobility 
and people of France, in which he celebrated in solemn terms 
the bravery and other warlike virtues of the French nation 
and its pious monarch. The sovereign pontiff gave his bene- 
diction to the French Crusaders, and threatened with the 
thunders of the Church all who, having made the vow of 
pilgrimage, deferred their departure. Louis IX., who had 
no doubt requested this warning from the pope, saw with 
joy all the nobility of his kingdom hasten to join his stan- 
dard ; many nobles, whose ambition he had repressed, were 
the first to set the example, for fear of awakening old mis- 
trusts or incurring fresh disgraces ; others, seduced by the 
habitual spirit of courts, declared themselves with ardour 
champions of the cross, in the hope of obtaining, not the 
rewards of Heaven, but those of the earth. The character 
of Louis IX. inspired the greatest confidence in all the 
Christian warriors. " If, till this time," said they, " God 
has permitted the crusades to be nothing but a long course 
of reverses and calamities, it is because the imprudence of 
the leaders has compromised the safety of the Christian 
armies ; it is because discord and licentiousness of manners 
have reigned too long among the defenders of the cross : but 
what evils have we to dread under a prince whom Heaven 
appears to have inspired with its own wisdom, — under a 
prmce who, by his furmness, has succeeded in suppressing 
every division in his own countrj% and is about to exhibit to 
the East an example of all the vutues ? " 

Many English nobles, among whom were the earls of 
Salisbiuy and Leicester, resolved to accompany the king of 
France, and share with him the perils of the crusade. The 
earl of Salisbury, grandson of " Fair Eosamond," who had 
gained by his exploits the surname of " Long Sword," had 
just been stripped of all his possessions by Henry III. In 
order to place himself in a condition to make preparations 
for the war, he addressed himself to the pope, ana said to 
him, " Beggar as 1 am, I have made a vow to perfonn the 
pilgrimage to the Holy Land. If Prince Bichard, brother 

* Que loyaut^ ils porteraient a sa famille, id aacune malle chose avenalt 
do aa peraozine aa saint veage d'oatre-mer. 


to the king of England, has been able to obtain, without 
taking the cross, the privilege of levying a tax upon those 
who have just laid it down, I have thought that I might 
obtain a sunilar favour; — I, who have no resource but in 
the charity of the faithful." This discourse, which informs 
us of a verv curious fact, made the sovereign pontiff smile : 
the earl of Salisbury obtained the favour he asked, and 
deemed it his duty to set out for the East. 

The preachings for the holy war, which had produced but 
little effect in Italy and Germany, had nevertheless been 
successful in the provinces of Friesland and Holland, and in 
some of the northern kingdoms. Haco, king of Norway, 
celebrated for his bravery and exploits, took the oath to 
fight against the infidels ; and the Norwegians, who had 
several times distinguished themselves in the holy wars, 
followed the example of their monarch. Haco, after com- 

Eleting his preparations, wrote to Louis IX. to announce 
is approaching departure. He asked him permission to 
land upon the coast of Prance, and to furnish himself there 
with the supplies necessary for his army. Louis made a 
most cordial reply, and proposed to the Norwegian prince to 
share with him the command of the crusade. Matthew Paris, 
who was charged with the message from Louis IX., informs 
us in his History that the king of Norway declined the gene- 
rous offer of the French king, persuaded, he said, that har- 
mony could not long subsist between the Norwegians and 
the French, — ^the first, of an impetuous, restless, and jealous 
character, the others, full of pride and haughtiness. 

Haco, after having made this reply, thought no more of 
embarking, and remained quietly m his kingdom, history 
being perfectly imable to discover the motives which pro- 
duced this sudden change. It may be believed, that in 
accordance with the example of several other Christian mo- 
narchs, this prince had made use of the crusade as a cloak 
for his political designs. By levying a tax of a third upon 
the revenues of the clergy, he had amassed treasures which 
he might employ in streng^thening his power. The army he 
had raised in the name or Christ might minister to his am- 
bition much more effectually in Europe than in the plains of 
Asia. The pope, from whom he had received the title of 
king, at first exhorted him to assume the sign of the Cru- 


3G2 nisTonT op tue cbtjsadics. , 

saders ; but everything leads us to believe that he afterwards 
advised him to remain in the "West, where he hoped to raise 
in him one more enemy against the emperor of Grcrmany. 
Thus the king of Norway had promised to go into the East 
in the hope of obtaining the favour and protection of the 
court of Eome ; and to preserve this favour and this support, 
he had but one thing to do, and that was to forget his 

However this may be, it is certain that the pope, at that 
time, took but very little interest in the success of the 
eastern crusade. We may judge of this by the facility 
with which he liberated so many from their vows of fighting 
against the infidels : he went even so far as to forbid the 
Crusaders from Friesland and Holland to embark for Pales- 
tine. In vain Louis IX. made some serious remonstrances 
on this head ; Innocent would not listen to him. Engrossed 
by one passion, he found it much more advantageous to 
grant dispensations for the voyage to Syria; for, on one 
part, those dispensations which were bought with solid 
money, contributed to fill his treasury, and on the other, 
they left soldiers in Europe that he might arm against his 
personal .enemies. 

Thus France was the only country in which the crusade 
was really an object of interest; the piety and zeal of 
Louis IX. brought back all those whom the indifierence of 
the pope had*cooled ; and the love of the French for their 
king, replacing religious enthusiasm, sufficed for the removal 
of all obstacles. The cities whose liberties the monarch 
had protected, voluntarily sent him considerable sums. The 
farmers of the royal domains, which were then very extensive, 
advanced the revenues of a year. The rich taxed themselves, 
and poured their hoards into the coffers of the king; 
poverty dropped its mite into the poor-boxes of churches ; 
and we mav add, that at that period there was scarcely a will 
made in the kingdom which did not contain some legacy 
towards the expenses of the holy war. The clergy were not 
content with addressing prayers to Heaven for the crusade, 
thev paid the tenth of their revenues for the support of the 
soldiers of the cross. 

The barons, nobles, and princes, who equipped themselves 
at their own expense, imposed taxes on their yassalsy and 


found, after the example of the king of France, the monej 
necessarv for the voyage in the revenues of their domains 
and in the pious generosity of the towns and cities. Many, 
as in other crusades, pledged their lands, sold their property, 
and ruined themselves, to provide means to support their 
soldiers and knights. They forgot their families, they forgot 
themselves in the sad preparations for departure, and appeared 
never to look forward to the period of return. Many pre- 
pared themselves for the voyage as they would have prepared 
for exile or death ; the most pious of the Crusaders, as if 
they only went to the East to nnd a tomb, were particularly 
anxious to appear before Qod in a state of grace ; they ex- 
piated their sins by penitence; they pardoned offences, 
repaired the iU they had done, disposed of their goods, gave 
them to the poor, or divided them amongst their natural 

This disposition of men's minds was greatly to the advan- 
tage of humanity and justice ; it imparted generous senti- 
ments to people of property; whilst, in the wicked, it 
awakened a remorse that was nearly allied to virtue. Amidst 
civil wars and feudal anarchy, a crowd of men had enriched 
themselves by strife, rapine, and brigandage; religion in- 
spired them with a salutary repentance, and this time of 
penitence was marked by a great number of restitutions, 
which for a moment made the triumphs of iniquity to be 
forgotten. The famous count de la Marche set the example ; 
his conspiracies, his revolts, his unjust enterprises had often 
troubled the peace of the kingdom, and ruined a great 
number of families ; he became desirous of expiating his 
foults ; and to mitigate the just anger of God, he, Dy his will, 
ordered a complete restitution to be made of all the property 
he had acquired by injustice and violence.* The sieur de 
Joinville tells us, with great simplicity, in his History, 
that his conscience did not reproach him with anything 
serious, but that, nevertheless, he assembled his vassals and 
neighbours to offer them reparation for the wrongs he might 
have done them without knowing it. 

In those days of repentance monasteries were founded 

* We do not observe that this worthy penitent opened his hand and 
relaxed his grasp whilst living ; death- bed repentances and posthumoaa 
restitutions are very saspicious affairs. — ^Trans. 


and treasures lavislied on churches : " The most sure means," 
said Louis IX., " to avoid perishing like the impious, is to 
love and enrich the place m which dwells the glory of the 
Lord." The piety of the Crusaders was not forgetftil of the 
poor and infirm ; their numerous offerings endowed cloisters 
as asylums for want ; hospices, or small convents, for the re- 
ception of pilgrims ; and particularly leper hospitals, which 
were estahlished in all the provinces, the melancholy abodes 
of victims of the holy wars. 

Louis IX. distinguished himself by his liberality towards 
churches and monasteries ; but that which must particularly 
have drawn upon him the blessings of his people, was the 
care he took to repair all injustice committed in the adminis- 
tration of government. The holy monarch knew, that if 
kings are the images of God upon earth, they are never 
BO truly so as when justice is seated beside them on the 
throne. Eestitution-offices, established by his orders in the 
royal domains, were charged with the repairing of all wrongs 
that might have been committed by the agents or farmers 
of the king. In most of the great cities it was the duty of 
two commissaries, one an ecdesiastic, the other a layman, 
to hear and decide upon complaints made against his 
ministers and officers : a noble exercise of the supreme 
authority, which rather employs itself in seeking out the 
unfortunate to assist them, than the guilty to pumsh them ! 
which watches for the murmurs of the poor, encourages the 
weak, and submits itself to the tribunal of the laws ! It 
was not sufficient for Louis to have established regula- 
tions for the administration of justice, — their execution ex- 
cited his most anxious solicitude. Preachers announced the 
intentions of the kin^ in all the churches, and as if he 
thought himself responsible to God for all judgments pro- 
nounced in his name, the monarch secretly sent holy 
ecclesiastics and good monks to make fresh observations, 
and learn from faithful reporters, if* the judges whom he 
believed to be worthy men, were not themselves corrupt. 
The historian pauses complacently over this touching picture ; 
so noble an example presented to the kings of the earth, 
appeared likely to bring down the blessings of Heaven upon 
Saint Louis ; and when we reflect upon the deplorable results 
of this crusade, with the chroniclers of lus own time^ wa 


feel astonished that so many calamities should have been the 
reward of such exalted virtue.* 

The preparations were now carried on with redoubled zeal 
and activity ; all the provinces of France appeared to be in 
arms ; the people of cities and country had but one thought, 
and that was the crusade. The great vassals assembled their 
knights and troops; the nobles and barons visited each 
other, or exchanged messengers, in order to settle the day of 
their departure. Belations and friends engaged to unite their 
banners, and place everything in common — money, glory, 
and perils. Devotional practices were mingled with military 
preparations. Warriors were seen laying aside the cuirass 
and sword, and walking, barefooted and in their shirts, to 
visit monasteries and churches, to which the relics of saints 
attracted the concourse of the faithful. Processions were 
formed in every parish ; all the Crusaders appeared at the 
foot of the altars, and received the symbols of pilgrimage 
from the hands of the clergy. Prayers were put up in aT 
churches for the success of the expedition. In families, 
abundance of tears were shed at the moment of departure ; 
and most of the pilgrims, on receiving these last endearments 
of their friends, seemed to feel, more than ever, the value of 
all they were leaving behind them. The historian of Saint 
Louis tells us, that after visiting Blanch icourt and Saint- 
Urbaln, where holy relics were deposited, he would not once 
turn his eyes towards Jokiville, for his heart was softened at 
the idea of the beautiful castle he was leaving, and of his 
two children .f The leaders of the crusade took with them 
all the warlike youth, and left in many countries nothing 
but a weak and unarmed population; many abandoned 
castles and fortresses must, naturally, fall to ruins ; much 
flourishing land must be changed into a desert, and a vast 
many families must be left without support. The people, 
no doubt, had cause to regret the nobles whose authority 
was supported by kindnesses, and who, after the example of 

* These calamities were but a portion of God's great law of cause and 
effect — they were begun in errdr and ended in failure. What connection 
is there between Louis' just government of his kingdom and his mad and 
foolish expeditions to the East ? — Trans. 

t 11 DC ▼onlol oncques retoumer ses yeux vers JoinviUe, pour oe que lo 
onur lui atteadrit da biaa cbastel qa'U Imiisait, «t d« sm dens enfints. 


Saint Louis, loved truth and justice, and protected the weak 
and the innocent; but there were some whose departure 
was witnessed with gladness ; and more than one town, more 
than one village, rejoiced at seeing the donjon, from which 
thej had been accustomed to experience all the miseries of 
servitude, empty and abandoned. 

It was an affecting spectacle to see the families of artisans 
and poor villagers lead their children to the barons and 
knights, and say to them : " You will be their fathers ; you 
will watch over them amidst the perils of war and of the 
sea/* The barons and knights promised to bring back their 
soldiers to the West, or to perish with them in fight ; and 
the opinion of the people, the nobility, and the clergy, de- 
voted, beforehand, aU wtio should fail in this sacred promise, 
to the anger of Qod and the contempt of men. 

Amidst these preparations, the most profound calm pre- 
vailed throughout the kingdom. In all preceding crusades, 
the multitude had exercised great violence against the Jews ; 
but bv the firmness and wisdom of Saint Louis, the Jews, 
though depositaries of immense wealth, and always skilful 
in taking advantage of circumstances to enrich themselves, 
were respected among a nation they had plundered, and 
which was now completing its own ruin by the holy war. 
Adventurers and vagabonds were not admitted beneath the 
banners of the cross ; and, upon the demand of Saint Louis, 
the pope forbade all who had committed great crimes to 
take up arms in the cause of Christ. These precautions, 
which nad never been observed in former crusades, were 
highly calculated to insure the maintenance of order and 
discipline in the Christian army. Among the crowd that 
presented themselves to go into Asia, artisans and labourers 
met with the best reception, — which is a remarkable circum- 
stance, and clearly proves that views of a wise policy were 
mingled with sentiments of devotion, and that, though the 
ostensible object was the deliverance of Jerusalem, hopes 
were entertained of foimding useful colonies in the East. 

At the appointed time Louis IX., accompanied by his 
brothers, the duke of Anjou and the coimt d'.Ajtois, repaired 
to the abbey of St. Denis.* After having implored the 

* Concerning the departare of Saint Loais, and the fiictfl that follow, 
coMult Wmiam of Nangis, William of Puita, Matthew Pam, Sanati, &c 


support of the apostles of France, he received from the 
hands of the legate the pilgrim's staff and scrip, and that 
orifiamme which his predecessors had abeady twice unfuried 
before the nations of the East. Louis then returned to 
Paris, where he heard mass in the church of Notre Dame. 
The same day he quitted his capital, not s^in to enter it 
before his return from the Holy Land. The people and 
clergy were softened to tears, and accompanied him to the 
abbey of St. Antoine, singing psalms by the way. There 
he mounted on horseback to go to Corbeil, at which place 
the Queen Blanche and Queen Marguerite were to meet 

The king gave two more days to the affairs of his king- 
dom, and confided the regency to his mother, whose firmness 
and windom had defended and preserved the cro^-n during 
the troubles of his minority. If anything could excuse 
Louis IX., and justify his pious obstinacy, it was his leaving 
his country in profound peace. He had renewed the truce 
with the king of England; and Germany and Italy were so 
occupied with their own internal discords, that they could 
not give France the least subject for alarm. Louis, after 
having employed every precaution against the spirit of dis- 
affection, took with him into the Holy Lajid almost all the 
powerful nobles that had disturbed the kingdom. The 
county of MAcon, sold at the end of the preceding crusade, 
had recently reverted to the crown ; Normandy had escaped 
from the yoke of the English ; the counties of Thoulouse 
and Provence, by the marriage of the counts of Anjou and 
Poictiers, were about to become apanages of the princes of 
the royal family. Louis IX., after he took the cross, never 
ceased in his endeavours to preserve the recent conauests of 
France, to appease the murmurs of the people, and remove 
every pretext for revolt. The spirit of justice, which was 
observable in all his institutions ; the remembrance of his 
virtues, which appeared more estimable amidst the general 
grief caused by his departure ; the religion which he had 
caused to flourish by his example, were quite sufficient to 
maintain order and peace during his absence. 

A.S soon as Louis had placed the administration of his 
kingdom in other hands, he gave himself up to the exercises 
of piety, and appeared to be no more than the most meek 


of Christians. The dress and attributes of a pilgrim became 
the only adornments of a powerful monarch. He wore no 
more splendid stuffs, no more valuable furs ; his arms eyen, 
and the harness of his horses, glittered with nothing but the 
polish of steel and iron, llis example had so much influ- 
ence, says Joinville, that on the voyage not a single instance 
of an embroidered coat was seen, either upon the king or 
any one else. When endeavouring to reform splendour in 
equipages or dress, Louis caused the money he had been 
accustomed to expend in these to be distributed to the poor. 
Thus royal magnificence was in him nothing but the luxury 
of charity. 

Queen Blanche accompanied him as far as Cluny. This 
princess was persuaded she should never see her son again 
until they met in heaven, and took leave of him in the most 
affectionate manner ; the tears of mother and son bearing 
witness to the truth of their grief at parting. On his way, 
he saw the pope at Lyons, and conjured him, for the last 
time, to be merciful to Frederick, whom reverses had humi- 
liated, and who implored pardon. After having represented 
the great interests of the crusade, after having spoken in 
the name of the numerous pilgrims who were abandoning 
everything for the cause of Christ, the pious mind of the 
king was astonished to find the pontiff still inexorable. The 
king then directed all his attention to the prosecution of 
his journey. Innocent promised to protect the kingdom 
of France against the heretic Frederick and the king of 
England ; the latter of whom he always styled his vassal : he 
witnessed without regret the departure of a prince venerated 
for his love of justice, whose presence in Europe might be 
an obstacle to his policy. The sovereign pontiff had not 
much trouble in keeping his promise of defending the inde- 
pendence and peace of France ; for the discords he excited 
in other states preserved that kingdom from all foreign 
annoyance during the time of the crusade. 

The fleet, which awaited Louis at Aigues-Mortes, was 
composed of twenty-eight vessels, without reckoning those 
that were to transport the horses and the provisions. The 
king embarked, followed by his two brothers, Charles duke 
of Anjou, and Robert count d'Artois, and the queen Mar- 
guerite, who did not dread less the idea of remaining with 

HJ8TOBT 0? THE C£U8iJ>X8. 860 

her motber-in-law than that of living away from her hus- 
band.* Alphonse, count of Poictiers, deferred his departure 
till the following year, and returned to Paris to assist the 
queen regent with his counsels and authority. When the 
whole army of the Crusaders was embarked, the signal was 
given, the priests, according to the custom in maritime ex- 
peditions, sang the Veni Creator, and the fleet set sail. 

Prance had then no marine, the sailors and pilots were 
almost all Spaniards or Italians. Two Genoese performed 
the functions of commanders or admirals. A great part of 
the barons and knights had never before seen the sea, and 
ever}' tiling they saw fiUed them with surprise and dread ; 
they invoked all the saints of Paradise, and recommended 
their souls to God. The good Joinville does not at all dis- 
semble his fright, and cannot help saying : " A great fool is 
he who, having any sin on his soul, places himself in such a 
danger ; for if he goes to sleep at night, he cannot be cer- 
tain he shall not iind himsell at the bottom of the sea in 
the morning." t 

Louis IX. embarked at Aigues-Mortes, the 26th of 
August, and arrived at Cyprus on the 2l8t of September.J 
Henry, grandson" of Guy of Lusignan, who obtained the 
kingdom of Cyprus in tne third crusade, received the king 
of France at Lmiisso, and conducted him to his capital of 
Nicosia, amidst the acclamations of the people, nobility, and 

* Like many good and affectionate mothers, Blanche was very jealous 
of the influence of a young wife over her son. Principally for territorial 
advantages, Louis married Marguerite of Provence, when be was nineteen 
and the princess thirteen. Immediately after the ceremony, Blanche 
separated the newly -marrii^d couple and kept them apart for six years, 
under pretext of the youth of the new queen. — Trans. 

t Bien fou celui qui, ayant quelque peche sur son 4me, se met en un 
tel danger ; car si on s'endort au soir, on ne salt si on se trouvera le matin 
au fond de la mer. 

, X Micliaud has omitted to mention the cause of Louis' unfortunate 
dioice of a ront^, — the residence in Cyprus proving so injurious to the 
army. The mo^t regular and advisable route wouhl have bctMi by Sicily ; 
but alter Louis Lud in vain tried every means of subduing the anger of 
the pope, his superstitious reverence for the head of the Ci'tirch prevailed 
over even his goid scise and bid pmdcnce. and be declined slopping in 
Sicily, because that island was part of the domiutons of au czoommoni- 
oited prince. — Tbjlvb. 


A abort time after the arrival of the Crusaders, it was 
decided in a council, that the arms of the Christians should, 
in the first place, be directed against Egypt. The reverses 
that bad been met with on the banks of the Nile, in pre- 
ceding wars, did not at all alarm the king of France and his 
barons ; it is even more than probable that Lotiis, before be 
left his kingdom, had formed the design of carrying the war 
into the country from which the Mussulmans drew their 
wealth and their strength. The king of Cyprus, who had 
recently received the title of king of Jerusalem from the 
pope, the more strongly applauded this determination, from 
its giving him reason to hope to be delivered from the most 
formidable of his neighbours, and the most cruel enemy of 
the Christian colonies in Syria. This prince also caused a 
crusade to be preached in his kingdom, lor the sake of being 
placed in a condition to accompany the French Crusaders, 
and associate himself usefully in their conquests. He pro- 
posed to the king of France and his barons to wait till he 
had concluded his preparations. " The lords and prelates 
'of Cyprus," says William of Nangis, " all took the cross, 
appeared before Louis, and told him they would go with him 
wherever it should pleaae him to lead them, if he would 
stay till the winter had passed away.'* As Louis and the 
principal French nobles appeared but little disposed to delay 
their march, the Cypriots spared neither protestations of 
friendship, caresses, nor prayers to detain them. Every day 
was devoted to rejoicings and feastings, in which the nobility 
and wealthy men of the kingdom exhibited the spleiMlour of 
eastern courts. The enchantinff aspect of the isle, a coun- 
try rich in all the delicious productions of nature, particu- 
larly that Cyprus wine which Solomon himself has not dis- 
dained to celebrate, seconded in a powerful manner the 
entreaties and seductions of the court of Nicosia. It was 
decided that the Christian army should not depart before 
the following spring. 

It was not long before they became fuUy aware of the 
error they had committed. Amidst the excessive abundance 
that reigned in their camp, the Crusaders gave themselves 
up to intemperance; in a country in which pagan fables 
placed the altars of voluptuousness, the virtue of the pil- 
grims was every day exposed to fresh trials ; a protracted 


idleness relaxed the diBcipline of the army, and, to crown 
these evils, a pestilential disease exercisea great ravages 
among the deltenders of the cross. The pilmms had to 
lament the death of more than two hundred and fifty knights 
from this calamity. Contemporary chronicles mention among 
the lords and prelates that were victims to it, the counts of 
Dreux and Venddme, Bobcrt, bishop of Beauvais, and the 
brave William des Barres ; the army had likewise to regret 
the loss of the last of the race of the Archambault de Bour- 
bons, whose county became afterwards the heritage of the 
children of Saint Louis, and gave to the royal family of 
France a name that it has rendered for ever illustrious in 
the annals of that country. 

A great number of barons and knights were in want of 
money to maintain their troops, and Louis freely opened his 
treasury to them. The sieiur de Joinville, who had no more 
than one hundred and twenty livres toumoia* left, received 
from the monarch eight hundred livres ; a considerable sum 
in those days. 

Many of the nobles complained of having sold their lands 
and ruined themselves to follow the king to the crusade. 
The liberality of Louis could not possibly satisfy all these 
complainants. A great number of knights, after being 
ruined by the abode in the isle of Cyprus, could not endure 
the idleness they were condemned to, but were anxious to 
set out for Syria or Egypt, hoping to make the Saracens pay 
the expenses of the war. Louis had a great deal of trouble 
to restrain them; historians agree in saying that he was 
only half oheyed; therefore, he had much more frequent 
occasion to exercise his patience and evangelical mildness 
than his authority ; and if he succeeded in appeasing all dis- 
cords and suppressing all murmurs, it was less by the ascen- 
dancy of his power than by that of his virtue. 

Differences arose between the Greek clergy and the Latin 
clergy of the isle of Cyprus. Louis succeeded in putting 
an end to them. The Templars and Hospitallers appealed 
to him as judge in their constantly reviving quarrels ; he 
made them swear to be reconcilea, and to have no other 

* The French had a costom of reckoning rams by twentiet; in the text 
of Joinville this stands, " six tingts livres toomois."-— Traiis. 


enemies than those of Christ. The Genoese and Fisans 
resident at Ptolemais, had long and serious disputes, both 
parties having recourse to arms, and nothing appeared able 
to check the fury and scandal of a civil war in a Christian 
city. The wise mediation of Louis reestablished peace. 
Aitho, king of Armenia, and Bohemond, prince of Antioch 
and Tripoli, implacable enemies, both sent ambassadors to 
the king of France : he induced them to conclude a truce : 
thus Louis IX. appeared among the nations of the East as 
an angel of peace and concord. 

At this i)eriod the territory of Antioch was ravaged by 
vagabond bands of Turcomans ; Louis sent Boheraond five 
hundred cross-bowmen. Aitho had just formed an alliance 
with the Tartars, and was preparing to invade the states of 
the sultan of Iconium in Asia Minor. As the Armenian 
prince enjoyed a great reputation in the East for skill and 
braver}', many French knights, impatient to display their 
valour, left Cyprus for the piurpose of joining his standard 
and sharing the fruits of his victories. Joinville, after 
having spoken of their departure, says nothing of their ex- 
ploits, and only informs us of their unhappy destiny by these 
words : " not one of them ever came back."* 

Fame had announced the arrival of Louis throughout all 
the countries of the East, and the news produced a great 
sensation among both Mussulmans and Christians. A pre- 
diction, that was credited in the most distant regions, and 
which missionaries found spread even through Persia, 
announced that a king of the Franks was destined speedily 
to disperse all infidels and deliver Asia from the sacrilegious 
worship and laws of Mahomet. It was believed that the 
time was now come for the accomplishment of this predic- 
tion. A crowd of Christians hastened from Syria, Egypt, 
and all the countries of the East, to salute him whom God 
had sent to fulfil his divine promises. 

It was at this period that Louis received an embassy that 
excited the curiosity and attention of the Crusaders in 
the highest degree ; the marvellous account of it occupies a 
conspicuous place in the chronicles of the middle ages.f 

• Oncques nul d'eux ne revint. 

t Matthew Paris, William of Nangis, and Zaniliet are agreed concerDiog 
this embasay. We shall revert to it io our Appendix* 


This embassy came from a Tartar prince, named Ecaltbai,* 
\rho professed himself to be converted to the Christian faith, 
and displayed the most ardent zeal for the triumph of the 
Gospel. The head of this deputation, named David, remitted 
to the king a letter filled with sentiments expressed with so 
much exaggeration as ought to have rendered it doubtful ; 
he said that the great khan had received baptism three years 
before, and that he was prepared to assist the expedition of 
the French Crusaders with all his power. The news of this 
embassy soon spread through the army, and from that time 
nothing was talked of but the promised succour of the great 
khan or emperor of the Tartars ; the leaders and soldiers 
flocked to the residence of Louis to see the ambassador of 
the prince Ecalthaji, whom they considered as one of the 
first barons of Tartary, 

The king of Prance interrogated the deputies several 
times respecting their journey, their country, and the 
character and disposition of their sovereign ; and as all he 
heard flattered his most cherished thoughts, he conceived no 
mistrust, and discovered no signs of imposture in their re- 
plies. The Tartar ambassadors were received at his court, 
and admitted to his table ; he himself conducted them to the 
celebration of divine service in the metropolitan church of 
Nicosia, where all the people were edified by their devotion. 

At their departure, the king of France and the legate of 
the pope charged them with several letterst for the prince 
Ecalthai and the great khan of the Tartars. To these letters 
were added ma^ificent presents ; among which was a scarlet 
tent, upon which Louis had caused to be worked " The 
Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Ood, and 
all the other points of faith." The king wrote to Queen 
Blanche, as did the legate to the sovereign pontiff, to 
announce the extraordinary embassy that had arrived from 
the most distant regions ot the East. The propitious news 
of an alliance ^dth the Tartars, who were then looked upon 

* Deguignes informs at that the prince Ecalthu was the lientenant of 
the khan of the Tartan in Alia Minor. 

t Most of thearticlea which fonn the correspondenoe between Christen* 
dom and the Tartars are collected in the book of Moshemins, entitled 
HuioriA Tartrnvm Bechiiatiiea : the letters of this oorrespondenoe do 
not all merit the sane atteation or the i 


as the most formidable of all nations, spread joy among the 
people of the West, and increased their nopes of the success 
of the crusade. 

Missionaries that were senc into Tartarj by Louis were 
very soon satisfied that the conversion of the great khan was 
nothing but a fable. The Mogul ambassadors had advanced 
many other impostures in their accounts, which has induced 
some learned modems to think that this great embassy* 
was nothing but a trick, the contrivance of which may bo 
attributed to some Armenian monks. However it may be, 
there can be no doubt that the Moguls, who were at war 
with the Mussulmans, might have some interest in con- 
ciliating the Christians, and might be led, firom that time, to 
consider the Franks as useful auxiliaries. 

Winter, in the mean time, was drawing towards an end, 
and the period fixed upon for the departure of the French 
Crusaders was approaching. The king of France ordered a 
great number of flat-bottomed boats to be constructed, to 
£u:i]itate the descent of the Christian army upon the coast 
of Egypt. As the Genoese fleet, in which the French had 
embarked at Aigues-Mortes, had left the port of Lemisso, 
it required considerable trouble to get together, from all 
parts, vessels sufficient to transport the army and the nu- 
merous magazines formed in the isle of Cyprus. Louis IX. 
applied to the Genoese and Venetians established on the 
coast of Syria, who, to the great scandal of the knights and 
barons, showed, in this instance, more cupidity than devo- 
tion, and placed an exorbitant price upon services demanded 
of them in the name of Christ. 

At this time Louis received a communication from the 

* M. Abel-Remnsat, in hiB learned Memoir upon the Tartan, explains 
■everal doubtful circumstances of this embassy ; he examines the opposite 
versions, and does not at all adopt the opinion of M. De^uignes, who 
views the Mogul ambassadors as nothing but impostors. If it maj be 
allowed me, after these two great authorities, to offer an opinion, I should 
say that the arriTal of Louis haying created a great sensation in the East, 
Ecalthai, governor of all the provinces of Asia, might send emissaries to 
ascertain the designs and strength of the Franks ; and it may be believed 
that these emissaries, to perform their mission with more snooess, feiffned 
several circumstances calcuUted to increase their credit in the minds of 
the Christians. It appears to us that this opinion may reooncila that 
which is opposite in that of the two writers quoted. 


emperor of Gkrmany, still pursued by the thunders of Eome. 
This prince sent provisions to the Crusaders, and expres^d 
great grief, in his letters, at being unable to share the perils 
of the holy war. The king of France thanked Frederick, 
and sighea at the obstinacy of the pope, which deprived the 
defenders of the cross of such a powerful auxiliary. 

Preparations were continued with the greatest activity ; 
eyeTY day fresh Crusaders arrived, who came frt>m the ports 
of the West, or had passed the winter in the isles of the 
Archipelago, or *on the coasts of Greece. All the nobilitj 
of Cyprus had taken the cross, and were preparing for their 
conflict with the infidels. The greatest harmony prevailed 
between the two nations ; in the Greek as well as the Latin 
churches, prayers were offered up to Heaven for the success 
of the Christian arms; aad throughout the host nothing 
was talked of but the wonders of the East, and the riches 
of Egypt, which they were about to conquer. 

Wiutst enthusiasm and joy were thus exuberant among 
the Christian warriors, the grand masters of St. John and 
the Temple wrote to Louis IX., to consult him upon the 
possibility of opening a negotiation with the sultan of Cairo. 
The leaders of these two orders anxiously desired to break 
the chains of their knights who were detained in capti\ity 
since the defeat of Gaza; they did not otherwise partake 
with the Crusaders their blind confidence in victory; ex- 
perience of other crusades had taught them that the warriors 
of the West, at first very redoubtable, almost always began 
their wars with splendour, but that afterwards, weakened by 
discord, exhausted by the fatigues of a distant expedition, 
and sometimes led away by their natural inconstancy, they 
only thought of returning into Europe, abandoning the 
Christian colonies to all the furies of an enem^ irritated by 
former defeats. According to these considerations, the two 
grand masters would have wished to take advantage of the 
powerful succours from the West, to conclude a useful and 
durable peace. The mode of negotiation presented them 
much greater future advantages than a war, whose chances 
were doubtful, and whose perils might, in the end, all recoil 
upon them. 

Their pacific message arrived at the moment when nothing 
waa spoken of in the Chriatian army but tho conquests they 


were about to make ; when all minds were heated by the 
enthusiasm of glory, and the hope of a rich booty. The ' 
proposition alone of peace with the infidels was a true sub- 
ject of scandal for these warriors, who believed themselves 
called upon to destroy, throughout the East, the domination 
and the power of all the enemies of Christ. The general 
surprise and indication gave credence to the blackest ca- 
lumnies against tne grand master of the Temple, who was 
loudly accused of keeping up a secret intelligence with the 
sultan of Cairo, and of having joined in barbarous ceremo- 
nies to bind this impious union. Louis IX., who did not 
come into the East to sign a treaty of peace and to deliver 
only a few prisoners, shared the indignation of his compa- 
nions in arms, and forbade the grand masters of the Temple 
and St. John to reiterate propositions insulting to the 
Christian warriors, insulting to him. 

The Crusaders, intoxicated with their future success, were 
not aware of half the obstacles they were about to encoun- 
ter ; they thought more about the wealth than the strength 
of their enemies ; acquainted with neither the climate nor 
the country to which their ^"ishes were directed, their igno- 
rance redoubled their security, and fed hopes that were 
doomed soon to fade away. 

The leaders of the crusade were particularly sanguine 
with respect to the divisions of the Mussulman princes, who 
were quarrelling for the provinces of Syria ana Egjpt : in 
fact, since the death of Saladin, discord had rarely ceased to 
trouble the family of the Ayoubites. But as their dissen- 
sions broke out in civil wars, and as civil wars rendered the 
population more warlike, their empire, which grew weaker 
every day inwardly, often, consequently, became the stronger 
outwardly; when common danger united the Mussulman 
powers, or that one of those powers mastered the rest, every- 
thing was to be dreaded from an empire always tottering in 
peace, but which seemed to derive nresh strength from the 
animosities and perils of a war against the Cliristians. 

Malek Saleh Negmeddin, who then reigned in Egypt, was 
the son of the sultiui Camel, celebrated by the victory gained 
at Mansourah over the army of John of Brienne and the 
legate Pelagius. Driven from the throne by a conspiracy, 
be endeiifoiired to recorar it by arms; coDquered, oe fw 


into the chains of his rival, and profited hj the lessons of 
adversity. Yeiy soon, the esteem in which his ahilities were 
held ; the hatred which the prince who reigned in his pkce 
inspired; the want of change, and perhaps a certain par- 
tiality for revolt and treason, recalled him to empire. The 
new sovereign showed himself much more skilful and more 
fortunate than his predecessors ; he knew how to preserve 
ohedience in the provinces; to maintain discipline in his 
army ; and to keep fear alive among his enemies. He had 
taken advantage of the arms of the Carismians to get pos- 
session of Damascus, and to crush both the Christians and 
their allies. Trom this period Negmeddin extended his 
conquests upon the banks of the Euphrates, and at length 
gathered under his laws the greater part of the empire of 

At the moment Louis IX. landed in the isle of Cyprus^ 
the sultan of Cairo was in Sjria, where he was making war 
against the prince of Aleppo, and held the city of Emessa in 
siege. He was acquainted with all the projects of the 
Christians, and gave orders for the defence of all the avenues 
of Egypt. When he learnt that the Christian army was 
about to embark, he immediately abandoned the siege of 
Emessa, and concluded a truce with enemies of whom he 
entertained very little dread, to return to his states that 
were threatenea with invasion. 

The Orientals considered the French as the bravest people 
of the race of the Franks, and the king of France as the 
most redoubtable monarch of the West. The preparations 
of Negmeddin were commensurate with the dread these new 
enemies naturally inspired. He neglected nothing in for- 
tifying the coasts or in provisioning Damietta, which was 
most likely to be the ohject of the first hostilities. A 
numerous fleet was equipped, descended the Nile, and was 
placed at the mouth of the river ; an army, commanded by 
Fakreddin, the most skilful of the emirs, encamped on tlie 
coast, to the west of the mouth of the river, at the very 
same point where, thirty-three years before, the army of 
John of Brienne had landed. 

All these preparations would, no doubt, have been suffi- 
cient to meet the first attacks of the Crusaders, if the sultaa 
of Cairo had been able to direct them himself, and oomnuind 

Vol. II.— 17 


his troops in person ; but he was attacked by a disease which 
his physicians pronounced to be mortal. In a state of 
things in which everything depended upon the presence and 
life of the prince, the certainty of his approaching end 
necessarily weakened confidence and zeal, cooled the general 
courage, and was injurious to the execution of all the measures 
taken for the defence of the country. 

Such was the milifcaiy and political situation of Egypt at 
the time Louis embarked from the ports of the isle of 
Cyprus. Many historians say, that before his departure, 
according to the custom of chivalry, he sent a herald-at-arma 
to the sultan IN^egmeddin, to declare war against him. In 
the early crusades, many Christian princes had in this manner 
addressed chivalric messages to the Mussulman powers they 
were about to attack : it is quite possible that Louis might 
imit-ate this example ; but the letter attributed to him bears 
no character of truth about it. The same historians add, 
that the sultan of Cairo could not refrain from tears on 
reading the letter of St. Louis. His reply, quoted in Ma- 
krisy, is at least conformable to his known character, and to 
the spirit of the Mussulman princes. He affected to brave 
the uneicpected threats and attacks of the disciples of 
Christ ; he referred with pride to the victories of the Mus- 
sulmans over the Christians; and whilst reproaching the 
king of France with the injustice of his aggressions, he 
quoted in his letter this passage from the Koran : — " They 
•who fight unjustly shall perish." 

This message contained predictions that were but too 
fiilly realized in the end. There is nothing, however, to lead 
us to believe that any correspondence was then established 
between Louis and the sultan of Cairo. Prudence, at least, 
required the king of France to send messengers and emis- 
saries into Egypt, to reconnoitre the state, strength, and 
resources of the country. It is more than probable, that in 
preceding crusades it was not only in obedience to the spirit 
of chivauy, but to ascertain the position of their enemies, 
that ambassadors were sent ; we must confess, however, that 
we cannot find in any chronicle of the times evidence of 
their having taken any precaution of this kind. A foresight 
which might bear the slightest association with timidity, 
stratagem, or even policy, was not the least in accordiiuee 


with the cliaracter of Louis and his knights. History has 
no hesitation in a£5[rming that the Crastulers, ready at this 
period to embark for Egypt, knew nothing of the countries 
mto which they were about to carry their arms, but that 
which they had learnt from the uncertain accounts of common 

The signal of departure was giyen on the Friday before 
Pentecost; and a numerous fleet, in which embarked the 
French army and the warriors of the isle of Cyprus,* sailed 
gallantly out from the port of Limisso. '' This was a thing 
most beautifid to behold," says Joinyille ; " for it appeared 
as if the sea, as far as the eye could reach, was covered with 
the sails of yessels, which were to the number of eight hun- 
dred, as well large as small." AH at once a wind blowing full 
from the coast of Egypt gave rise to a violent storm, which 
dispersed all the fleet ; and Louis IX., who was forced to 
put back to port, found, with great grief, that at least the 
naif of his yessels had been carried by the wind on to the 
coasts of Syria. At this moment of disappointment, how- 
ever, unexpected reinforcements arrived, which restored the 
hopes of Louis and his captains. These consisted of the 
duke of Burgundy, who had passed the winter in the Morea ; 
"William of Bahsbury, at the head of two hundred English 
knights ; and William of Villehardouin, prince of Achaia, 
who forgot the dangers of the Latin empire of Constanti- 
nople to go and fight the infidels on the banks of the Nile 
ana the Jordan. Without waiting for the vessels which the 
tempest had dispersed, they again set sail, and the fleet, with 
a favourable wind, directed its course towards Egypt. On 
the fourth day, at sunrise, the watch on deck cried, " Land ! 
land ! " A sailor, who served as pilot, ascended to the round 
top of the leading vessel, and such was the sentiment which 
the sight of the land inhabited by the infidels inspired in the 
Christians, that this man cried out, " "We have nothing to 
do but to recommend ourselves to God ; for here we are, 
before Daraietta." These words flew from rank to rank, and 
the whole fleet drew as near as they could to tlio vessel of 
Louis IX. The principal leaders endeavoured to get on 

* No chronicle sajs that the king of Cyprus went with Tvoais, although 
be had taken the cross. This prince is never mentionixl in any of the 
events of the war. 


board of it ; the king awaited them in a warlike attitu^, 
and exhorted them to offer thanks to Qod for having brought 
them &ce to face with the enemies of Jesus Christ. As the 
greater part of the leaders seemed to fear his life would be 
too much exposed in the course of a war which must be 
terrible : " Follow my example," said he to them ; " leave me 
to brave all perils, and in the midst of the hottest fi^ht never 
once think that the safety of the state and the Church re- 
sides in my person ; you yourselves are the state and the 
Chprch, and you ought to see in me nothing but a maa 
whose life, like that of any other, may be dissipated like a 
shadow, when it shall please the GK)d for whom we combat." 
Thus Louis forgot hunself and his state, and before the 
infidels, the king of France was but a simple soldier of Jesus 

This discourse animated the courage of the barons and 
knights ; orders were given for the whole fleet to prepare 
for action. In every vessel the warriors embraced each 
other with joy at the approach of peril; such as quarrels 
had alienated, swore to forget all divisions and injuries, and 
to conquer or to die together. Joinville says he forced two 
knights, who had been irreconcilable enemies, to make 
peace, by persuading them that their discord might draw 
down the malediciions of Heaven, and that union among 
the Christian soldiers could alone open to them the road to 

Whilst the Crusaders were thus preparing, the Mussul- 
mans neglected nothing for their defence ; their sentinels 
had perceived the Christian fleet, from the walls of Bamietta, 
and the news was soon spread through the city ; a bell, 
which had remained in the great mosque since the conquest 
of John of Brienne, gave the signal of danger, and was 
heard on both sides of the river. Four MussiUman galleys 
advanced to reconnoitre the strength of the Crusaders; 
three of them were sunk, and the fourth, getting back with 
great difficulty to the Nile, announced to the mfidels what 
enemies they had to contend with. 

In the mean time the Christian fleet advanced in order of 
battle, and cast anchor within a quarter of a league of the 
coast, at the moment at which the sun had performed half 
his daily course. The shore and sea presented the most im^ 


poring spectacle ; the coast of Egypt was lined with all the 
povoers of the eoldan^ who were people aoodly to look upon. 
The sea appeared to be covered ¥ritn ships, over which 
floated the hanners of the cross. The Mussulman fleet, 
laden with soldiers and machines of war, defended the 
entrance of the Nile. Eakreddin, the leader of the infldel 
army, appeared amidst their ranks in a panoply so splendid, 
that Joinville, in his surprise, compares lum to the sun. 
The heavens and the earth resoimded with the noise of the 
bended horns and the naccaires,* a kind of enormous kettle- 
drum, a thing very frightful to hear, and very strange to the 

All the leaders assembled in council in the king's vessel ; 
some proposed to defer the descent till the vessels which 
had been dispersed by the tempest should rejoin them : " To 
attack the infidels without having all their forces, would be 
to e'ive them an advantage that might ^atly elevate their 
pride ; and even if success were certain, it appeared but just 
to wait, that all the Crusaders might have their share oi the 
glory they came so far to seek." Some went still further, 
and spoke of the embarrassments and perils of a descent in 
an unknown country ; of the disorders which must accom- 
pany a first attack ; and of the difficulty of rallying the army 
and fleet, if the obstacles they met with should prove invin- 
cible. Louis IX. did not at all agree with this opinion: 
" We have not come thus far," he said, " to listen coolly to 
the menaces and insults of our enemies, or to remain, during 
several days motionless spectators of their preparations. 
To temporize is to raise their courage, and weaken the 
ardour of the French warriors. We have neither road nor 
port, in which we can shelter ourselves from the winds, or 
from the unexpected attacks of the Saracens ; a second 
tempest may again disperse what remains of our fleet, and 
deprive us of ali means of beginning the war with a chance 
of success. To-day God oflers us victory; later he will 
punish us for having neglected the opportunity to conquer." 

The majority of the leaders were of the opinion of 

* This word comes to us from the Arabs, with the instrument which it 
designates. The Arabs pronounce it tutkarah. 

•f chow ^pouTantable ^ onir et moult Strange aux Franfais.— 


382 HisTosr of the cbubades. 

Louis IX., and it was resolved that the descent should be 
made on the morrow. A strict watch was preserved during 
the night ; a vast number of flambeaux were kept burning, 
and vessels were placed near the mouth of the Nile, to 
observe the motions of the Saracens. 

At daybreak the whole fleet weighed anchor, and the 
Mussulmans at the same time got under arms. Their in- 
fkntrv and cavalry occupied the entire shore of the point at 
which they expected the Crusaders to land. 

When the vessels drew near the shore, the Christian war- 
riors got into the barks that accompanied the fleet, and 
ranged themselves in two lines. Louis IX., accompanied 
bv the two princes his brothers, and his chosen knights, 
placed himsell at the right point. The cardinal legate, bear- 
ing the cross of the Saviour, was on his right hand, and in a 
bark in fix)nt of him floated the oriflamme of France. 

The count of Jafla, of the illustrious family of Brienne, 
was at the left point towards the mouth of the Nile ; he ap- 
peared at the head of the knights from the isle of Cyprus 
and the barons of Palestine. He was on board the lightest 
bark of the fleet. This boat bore the arms of the counts of 
Jaffa, painted on its poop and prow. Around his standard 
floated banderoles of a thousand colours, and three hundred 
rowers impelled the vessel through the waves like the flight 
of the swallow over the stream. Erard of Brienne, sur- 
rounded by a chosen troop, occupied the centre of the line, 
with Baldwin of Eheims, who commanded a thousand warriors. 
The knights and barons stood erect in their boats, looking 
earnestly at the shore, lance in hand, with their horses beside 
them. In the front and on the wings of the army, a crowd 
of crossbow-men were placed to keep off the enemy.* 

As soon as they were within bowshot, a shower of stones, 
arrows, and javelins was poured at the same instant from the 
shore and from the line of the Crusaders. The ranks of the 
Christians appeared for a moment shaken. The kin^ com- 
manded the rowers to redouble their efforts to gam the 
shore. He himself set the first example ; in spite of the 
legate, who endeavoured to restrain him, he plunged into 
the waves, in full armour, his buckler over his breast, and 
his sword in hand ; the water being up to his shoulders : the 

* An admirable subject for a Urge hiatorical picture.— T&ams. 


vrhole Christian army, after the example of the king, cast 
themselves into the sea, crying, ^^Montjoie ! Si. Denis I ' ' This 
multitude of men and horses, endeavouring to gain the shore, 
elevated the waves which hroke at the feet of the Saracens ; 
the warriors pressed on, clashing against each other in their 
progress — nothing was heard but the noise of the waves and 
the oars, the cries of the soldiers and the sailors, and the 
tumultuous shock of the barks and vessels, which advanced 
in disorder. 

The Mussulman battalions assembled on the shore could 
not stop the French warriors. Joinville and Baldwin of 
Kheims landed the first ; after them came the count of Jaffa. 
They were drawing up in order of battle, when the cavalry 
of tne Saracens came pouring down upon them ; the Cru- 
saders closed in their ranks, covered themselves with their 
bucklers, and presenting the points of their lances, checked 
the impetuosity of the enemy. All their companions who 
had reached the shore, immediately formed in rear of this 

Already the oriflamme was planted on the shore ; Louis 
had landed. Without giv